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Cocoa May Boost Cardiovascular Health

Posted - Feb. 10, 2004 at 7:20 p.m.



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WASHINGTON, Feb 10, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Cocoa flavanols may support healthy blood vessels and circulation, according to research presented Tuesday at the National Academies in Washington, D.C.

"Endothelial dysfunction lies at the heart of cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Norman Hollenberg, a professor at the Harvard Medical School. "There is currently no useful way of increasing endothelial function, but my research shows that flavanol-rich cocoa can improve endothelial function."

Harold Schmitz, director of science and external research for Mars Inc., said scientists are still learning how to manipulate science to deliver the healthy compounds to consumers.

"The flavanol compounds are still vulnerable to processing," Schmitz said.

Other scientists believe more research should be conducted before cocoa is fully embraced for its health benefits.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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