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  • 3/4/2012

Dark chocolate improves skeletal muscle function

dark chocolate

American researchers have revealed that epicatechin-enriched cocoa can improve exercise capacities in patients with heart failure and diabetes.

A new study conducted by researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine and VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) found a link between epicatechin-enriched cocoa and skeletal muscle functions.

Studying patients with advanced heart failure and type 2 diabetes showed that three months of treatment with epicatechin-enriched cocoa improved their mitochondrial structure.

Mitochondria are structures responsible for most of the energy produced in cells. Type 2 diabetes and heart failure prevent the fuel cells form functioning leading to skeletal muscle abnormalities.

These patients usually suffer from shortness of breath, lack of energy and have difficulty walking even short distances.

Biopsies of skeletal muscle conducted before and after treatment revealed that consuming of approximately 100 mg of epicatechin per day for three months granted the patients with changes in mitochondria volume and the abundance of cristae.

"The cristae had been severely damaged and decreased in quantity in these patients," said Francisco J. Villarreal, MD, PhD of UC San Diego's Department of Medicine's Division of Cardiology.

Epicatechin-enriched cocoa can be found in dark chocolate bars.

Source: presstv.ir

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