Cocoa flavanols, the plant-based nutrients found in cocoa beans, could be the key to protecting kidney patients’ hearts, according to a new study from Germany’s University Hospital Essen. Dialysis patients in the study drank beverages containing 900 mg of cocoa flavanols daily for 30 days. Researchers saw impressive results from the flavanol-filled drink, including better blood vessel function and lower diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number in a blood pressure reading). The improvements were comparable to those achieved through statins or dietary and lifestyle changes. More research is needed to find out if cocoa flavanols can reduce mortality risk in these kidney patients. If cocoa flavanols prove to be a successful heart-protective treatment, they would need to be administered in supplement form, as food processing destroys much of the flavanol content.
Dietary Cocoa Flavanols Improve Blood Vessel Function in Patients with Kidney Dysfunction, Medical Xpress, December 17, 2015