More support for Cocoa Polyphenols preventing heart disease

Dec 22, 2005

In this study researchers at University Hospital in Zurich tested the effects of a high cocoa chocolate versus a low cocoa chocolate in 20 male smokers. Smokers or those exposed to second hand smoke have a greater risk of arterial damage leading to coronary artery disease. The men were restricted from eating high antioxidant foods for 24 hours and were then given a chocolate high in Cocoa (74%) or low in Cocoa (4%). Cocoa supplies powerful polyphenols that have been shown to decrease cholesterol and blood pressure in other research. After 2 hours ultrasound showed that the concentration of Cocoa rapidly improved endothelial function (the function of the important cells that line the entire cardiovascular system) and significantly improved the smooth flow of blood. The study is published in the January 2006 issue of the journal Heart a journal of the British cardiac Society.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

At the start of this study the impact of the supplements Green Tea Extract and CLA were not even thought of yet - studies show these both impact weight.

Having higher serum levels of Selenium and Carotenoids decreases the risk of dying in elderly women

Researchers from Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine tested the hypothesis that both low Selenium and Carotenoids predict mortality in elderly women. In the study 632 women between the ages of 70 and 79 had their serum Selenium and their Carotenoids levels tested and were then followed for 5 years. All of the women were living at home. 14.1% of the women died over the following five years and the top five causes of death were (in descending order) heart disease, cancer, stroke, infection, and COPD. It was found that higher serum levels of both Selenium and the Carotenoids decreased the risk of dying. In other words for elderly women, those with higher serum Selenium and Carotenoid levels are at a lower risk of dying. The study is published in the January 2006 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

New study shows that even well nourished elderly women frequently have inadequate serum levels of Selenium

In this study 178 women who were well nourished and free of major illness who were between 60 to 70 years of age had their blood levels of Selenium checked and it was found that 40% had a poor status for Selenium. Also, 75% of the women had an inadequate vitamin E intake. The study is published in the January 2005 issue of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.