New Study Shows Flavanol-Rich Cocoa Protects Your Heart When You’re Stressed

Blood vessels functioned 25% better during mental stress in people who consumed high flavanol cocoa, finds a breakthrough study conducted at the University of Birmingham.

We know what you’re thinking… “Another study?!” Honestly, we too are amazed by the energy and momentum surrounding cocoa flavanols and their health benefits! And the results rolling in continue to wow us in all the best ways!

This latest study – a placebo-controlled study of healthy adults – examined the effects cocoa flavanols (680mg) had on stress-induced changes in vascular function. Blood vessel function and circulation improved by an astonishing 25% when measured a half hour after a stressful task! (We can tell this from ‘flow mediated artery dilation’, or FMD, a measure of blood vessel functioning and circulation.) Peripheral blood flow was also significantly enhanced. 

Lead investigator, Dr. Catarina Rendeiro, explains, “We found that drinking flavanol-rich cocoa can be an effective dietary strategy to reduce temporary impairments in endothelial function following mental stress and also improve blood flow during stressful episodes.”

Stress, as you know, is closely associated with both psychological and physical health. In fact, single episodes of stress have been shown to impair cardiovascular function, increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.  

Could cocoa flavanols reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and heart attacks? Recent studies suggest yes! And large, long-term studies such as Harvard’s COSMOS trial are working toward confirming these findings. 

So, we’ll keep the new studies coming! And we can’t wait…stay tuned…