Cocoa improves blood flow to the heart in cardiac patients

January 10, 2008

In this study researchers in the Cardiology department, University Hospital, Zurich, gave 22 heart transplant recipients either Cocoa Polyphenol rich dark chocolate or chocolate without the Cocoa polyphenols in a placebo-controlled study. The Cocoa Polyphenols significantly opened up the coronary arteries improving blood flow to the heart and there was a decreased tendency to form an improper blood clot due to platelet clumping in the heart. There was also a significant jump in antioxidant activity in the Cocoa Polyphenol receiving patients. The study is published in the November 20th, 2007 issue of Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association.

Mushroom shows potential as prostate cancer fighter

The Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) suppresses mechanisms involved in the progression of prostate cancer according to scientists at the University of Haifa in Israel. In the study the researchers evaluated the ability of extracts from 68 fungi to interfere with the androgen or male hormone receptor within the cell to inhibit the growth of the cancer. The compounds from the fungi were extracted with solvents that would select molecules small enough to enter the diseased cells.
The researchers found 11 extracts that interfered with a major control for prostate cancer growth, in this case androgen receptor activity, by more than 40 percent, and 14 were also active for cancer cell growth inhibition. Of these active compounds, extracts derived from Reishi exerted the greatest interference on androgen receptor function and cancer cell development. Bioactive metabolites from Reishi mushroom could yield an anti-prostate cancer drug. This study adds to evidence from research published in the October 2007 issue of the International Journal of oncology showing that Reishi suppressed cancer cell growth and inhibited androgen activity in prostate cancer cells.