Cocoa flavanols improve blood vessel function in kidney disease patients

cocaA new study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN) specified that consuming a beverage containing flavanols improves blood vessel function in patients with kidney failure.

The research participants consisted of 57 dialysis patients who ingested either a test beverage rich in cocoa flavanols (900 mg per day) or a control beverage that was free of cocoa flavanols but matched the nutrient content of the test beverage in all other aspects.

The researchers determined that after 30 days the cocoa flavanol ingestion was well-tolerated by patients and it improved blood vessel function and reduced diastolic blood pressure. No impact was observed in the group that consumed the control beverage.

Patients with kidney disease and failing kidneys are at increased risk of developing heart problems, and they have an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular causes than from any other cause. Doctors have advocated lifestyle and dietary modifications to maintain vascular health or reduce disease risk which may assist in protecting patients’ heart health.

“Impressively, the degree of reversion of vessel dysfunction was comparable to the effects observed through administering statins or making dietary and lifestyle changes,” said Dr. Rassaf. “Whether this approach also leads to a reduction in mortality is not clear and has to be investigated.”

Carmine Zoccali, MD and Francesca Mallamaci, MD (CNR-IFC, in Italy) said that “the burden of cardiovascular disease in dialysis patients is so devastating that a promising intervention like cocoa flavanols deserves full attention by the nephrology community.


”The article, entitled “Vasculoprotective effects of dietary cocoa flavanols in hemodialysis patients: a double-blind, randomized, placebocontrolled trial,” will appear online at on December 17, 2015. doi: 10.2215/CJN.05560515

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