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Cocoa-Rich Dark Chocolate Makes Walking Easier For PAD Patients

July 2, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Reduced blood flow to leg arteries – called peripheral artery disease or PAD – can make it painful for people to walk. A new clinical study in Italy suggests that eating dark chocolate might provide some relief from the pain, cramping and fatigue associated with PAD. Twenty patients aged 60 to 78 walked on a treadmill in the morning and later after eating 40 grams of dark and milk chocolate on separate days. Participants increased their ability to walk unassisted after eating dark chocolate (85 percent cocoa content and rich in polyphenols), compared to eating milk chocolate. The authors suggested that the polyphenols in the dark chocolate reduced oxidative stress and improved blood flow in the leg arteries.
Lorenzo Loffredo et al., "Dark Chocolate Acutely Improves Walking Autonomy in Patients With Peripheral Artery Disease", Journal of the American Heart Association, July 02, 2014, © Loffredo et al.
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