A cup of enriched cocoa may help improve the working of blood vessels in people with Pre- and Type 2 Diabetes, new research suggests.
Doctors prescribed three mugs of specially formulated cocoa a day for a month to a group of Diabetics and found “severely impaired” arteries regained normal function. The German study, featured in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, suggests chemicals called “flavanols” may be responsible.
People with Pre- and Type 2 Diabetes are at greater risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and strokes, partly due to the effects of high blood sugar on the linings of blood vessels, which stops them being able to expand as much when needed by the body. This can result in higher blood pressure, which can then cause cardiovascular disease.
Cocoa naturally contains flavanols – antioxidant chemicals which also exist in some fruit and vegetables, green tea and red wine.The type of cocoa used in the study cannot presently be found in the shops and is a version enriched with far higher concentrations of the chemicals. Other studies are looking at whether flavanol-enriched chocolate could benefit patients.
Ten Diabetic patients were asked to drink the cocoa three times daily for 30 days, and a special test was used to measure the function of their blood vessels.
The ability of the vessels to expand in response to a demand for extra blood from the body appeared to increase almost immediately.
On average, a healthy person’s arteries could expand by just over 5%, while the average of the 10 Diabetic patients was just 3.3% prior to drinking their first mug of cocoa. Two hours after drinking the cocoa, however, their response averaged 4.8%. Over the 30 days, this improved, to 4.1% even before cocoa, and 5.7% two hours after a mugful.
Excess weight and obesity often uderlie Diabetes. Regular exercise combined with a balanced nutritious diet can help reverse an underlying cause of excess weight and obesity, namely the imbalance of blood glucose and insulin called Insulin Resistance. By reversing this latter condition, you can facilitate PCOS weight loss.
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