Polyphenolic compound found in chocolate may protect against coronary disease

December 21, 2000

Polyphenolic compounds are widely distributed in fruits and vegetables and protect against coronary heart disease. Procyanidin, a biologically active polyphenolic compound, is found in chocolate. In a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Schramm et al. fed chocolate to a group of volunteers to test the hypothesis that procyanidins promote long-term cardiovascular benefits.

Ten healthy subjects consumed 37 g of high- and low-procyanidin chocolate in treatments separated by 1 week. After 2 hours, plasma concentrations of a procyanidin metabolite were increased by 20 times in those who had consumed the high-procyanidin form of the chocolate, together with a significant reduction in serum leukotriene, an eicosanoid that promotes blood platelet aggregation. After 6 hours, all of the subjects' leukotriene/prostacyclin ratios had returned to preconsumption levels. The same changes in the leukotriene/prostacyclin ratio were obtained in cultured human aorta cells exposed to procyanidin. The authors suggest that frequent consumption of procyanidins may provide cardioprotective effects by inhibiting platelet aggregation.

Procyanidin is found in few common foods, and its content in commercial brands of chocolate varies widely. Future research can determine if procyanidins in other foods are as effective as those present in chocolate.
Schramm, Derek D. et al. Chocolate procyanidins decrease the leukotriene-prostacyclin ratio in humans and human endothelial cells. Am J Clin Nutr, 2001:73; 36-40.

This media release is provided by The American Society for Clinical Nutrition, to provide current information on nutrition-related research. This information should not be construed as medical advice. If you have a medical concern, consult your doctor. To see the complete text of this article, please go to: http://www.faseb.org/ajcn/January/11661-Keen.pdf or http://www.faseb.org/ajcn/January/12366-Jacques.pdf

For more information, please contact: derek@ipworld.com or paul@hmrc.tufts.edu

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Related Coronary Heart Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Women with coronary artery wall thickness at risk for heart disease
The thickness of the coronary artery wall as measured by MRI is an independent marker for heart disease in women, according to a new study.

E-cigarettes linked to heart attacks, coronary artery disease and depression
Concerns about the addictive nature of e-cigarettes -- now used by an estimated 1 out of 20 Americans -- may only be part of the evolving public health story surrounding their use, according to data being presented at the American College of Cardiology's 68th Annual Scientific Session.

Coronary calcium levels a better predictor of patients at risk for coronary heart disease
A new study presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Session conference found that testing a patient's coronary calcium levels is a better predictor of blocked coronary arteries at risk for a heart attack and the need for revascularization than standard risk-assessment equations used in medical practice today.

Coronary heart disease: DMP could be extended by two topics
Almost all health care aspects need to be updated. The already third search update for guidelines shows that their number and quality have increased notably in 10 years.

Learning about coronary heart disease from women
While many risk factors of CHD, such as smoking, high blood pressure and age, are common among men and women, some metabolic risk factors, such as being diabetic, are more strongly associated with increased risk of CHD in women than in men.

Cardiorespiratory fitness is essential to reduce risk of coronary heart disease
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a leading cause of death for men in the US.

New study highlights smoking intensity in coronary heart disease risk
Increased relative risks for coronary heart disease (CHD) have long been associated with smoking, and traditionally they have been dependent on the number of cigarettes smoked a day, smoking intensities, and total exposure over time.

Pessimism associated with risk of death from coronary heart disease
Pessimism seems to be a strong risk factor for death from coronary heart disease, while optimism does not protect from it, according to a study published in the open-access journal BMC Public Health that involved 2,267 middle-aged and older Finnish men and women.

Study finds large decrease in coronary heart disease in US
The incidence of coronary heart disease in the US declined nearly 20 percent from 1983 to 2011, according to a study appearing in the Nov.

Americans are getting heart-healthier: Coronary heart disease decreasing in the US
Coronary heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

Read More: Coronary Heart Disease News and Coronary Heart Disease Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.