Recent studies suggest cocoa flavanols could benefit cardiovascular health

According to recent studies, cocoa could benefit cardiovascular health.
According to recent studies, cocoa could benefit cardiovascular health. | shutterstock
Various recent studies have come to the conclusion that flavanols, compounds found in cocoa, could be beneficial to cardiovascular health.

A systematic review of the studies, which were conducted through various methods -- as well as a meta-analysis of 19 of the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of the consumption of cocoa -- have provided results that support this conclusion.

“Our meta-analysis of RCTs characterizes how cocoa flavanols affect cardiometabolic biomarkers, providing guidance in designing large, definitive prevention trials against diabetes and cardiovascular disease in future work,” Brown University professor and Director of the Center for Global Cardiometabolic Health Dr. Simin Liu said. “We found that cocoa flavanol intake may reduce dyslipidemia (elevated triglycerides), insulin resistance and systemic inflammation, which are all major subclinical risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases.”

The meta-analysis, which was published in the Journal of Nutrition, combined and evaluated evidence from all 19 RCTs and dedicated the study to see if eating flavanol-rich cocoa products is linked to the enhancement of particular cardiometabolic health circulating biomarkers. This data set was compared to the consumption of placebos that contained a minor amount of cocoa flavanol.

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