Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cocoa For Diabetics

For diabetics, thinking of eating or drinking chocolates is usually out of the question. But new studies has found that a cup of enriched cocoa may help improve the working of blood vessels in diabetic patients. Doctors are now prescribed three mugs of specially formulated cocoa a day for a month, and found out that severely impaired arteries regained their normal functions and the chemical flavanols found in cocoas may be responsible.

But eating more normal chocolate would not work. People with diabetes are at greater risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and strokes, partly due to the effects of high blood sugar on the linings of blood vessels, which stops them being able to expand as much when needed by the body. This can result in higher blood pressure, which can then cause further problems. While a healthier lifestyle can reduce the risks, it often does not solve the problem completely.

Cocoa naturally contains flavanols which are antioxidant chemicals found in some fruit and vegetables, green tea and red wine, and has been linked with health benefits by other studies. But the type of cocoa cannot be found in the shops and is a version enriched with far higher concentrations of the chemicals. Patients with type II diabetes can certainly find ways to fit chocolate into a healthy lifestyle, but the new study is not about chocolate, or about urging those with diabetes to eat more chocolate.



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