Two new Cocoa studies demonstrate an ability to improve blood flow to the heart and a reduction in the number of people with high blood pressure

November 07, 2007

In the first study Japanese researchers gave 39 healthy men either a dark chocolate bar rich in Cocoa polyphenols or a white chocolate bar devoid of polyphenols for two weeks. In the Cocoa polyphenol group blood flow in the heart and there was no improvement in the white chocolate group. Sidney Smith, MD, a past president of the American Heart Association and professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill states "You have to balance the fats and calories of the candy bar against the benefits of flavonoids" and Yumi Shiina, PhD, an author of the study says that in the future, development of a cocoa polyphenol supplement could overcome the problem (We have already achieved this Dr. Shiina; Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.). The study was presented recently in Orlando at the American Heart Associations Scientific Sessions 2007.

In the second study scientists from the University Hospital of Cologne in Germany placed 44 adults ranging in age from 56 through 73 on just 30mg of Cocoa Polyphenols or inactive white chocolate for 18 weeks. All subjects had either the upper range of prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension. Even this small amount of cocoa polyphenol reduced blood pressure modestly and reduced the number of people with full blown high blood pressure from 86% to 68%. The study is published in the July 4th 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) with a commentary in the October 27th issue of JAMA.

Vitamin K 2 wins wide backing for treating osteoporosis

According to the November 2007 issue of the journal Clinical Calcium Vitamin K2 has gained status in treating or preventing osteoporosis according to the 2006 version of the guideline for prophylaxis and treatment of osteoporosis. According to the guidelines Vitamin K2 may be used currently with other drugs in the treatment of osteoporosis. The vitamin obtained grade B status for preventing both hip and spine fractures and for improving bone mineral density.

Calcium + Vitamin D + bisphosphonate drug reduces the risk of fracture in patients treated for prostate and breast cancer

Survivors of childhood cancers and patients on hormonal-blocking therapy for either breast or prostate cancer are clearly at risk for osteoporosis and bone fracture. For many of these cancer patients , treatment with Calcium, Vitamin D, and bisphosphonates will likely decrease the consequences of cancer treatment -induced bone loss, namely fractures. The review was performed at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and is published in the December 2007 issue of Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Obesity.