Cardiovascular System

Cardiovascular System

ISSN 2052-4358
Original Research

Dark chocolate intake improves endothelial function in young healthy people: a randomized and controlled trial

Telmo Pereira1,2†*, Mariana Vilas Boas1† and Jorge Conde1†

*Correspondence: Telmo Pereira

These autohrs contributed equally to this work.

1. Department of Cardiopneumology, Superior College of Health Technology, Rua 5 de Outubro, S. Martinho do Bispo, Apartado 7006, 3046-854 Coimbra, Portugal.

Author Affiliations

2. Department of Cardiopneumology, Health Campus of the Methodist University, RuaNossaSenhora da Muxima, N.º 10, Luanda, Angola.


Introduction: The aim of this study was to assess the effect of the administration of dark chocolatein the endothelial and vascular function in a healthy and young population.

Methods: A randomized and controlled trial was carried out involving 30 healthy young individuals of Portuguese nationality, mean age 19.99±1.02 years, randomized into two groups: control group (CG) and intervention group (IG). The IG underwent a month ingestion of 8gr/daily of 70% cocoa chocolate. All the individuals were submitted to two clinical assessments, basal and after one month of intervention, in which their weight, height, body mass index (BMI), Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP), Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBP), heart rate (HR) and flow-mediated dilation (FMD) were assessed. In the second moment glycaemia was also assessed.

Results: CG and IG groups had similar baseline clinical and demographic characteristics. The basal FMD was similar in the IG and the CG, but was significantly different in the second evaluation, with the IG showing higher FMD values (23±7% versus 13±6%, respectively for the IG and the CG; p<0.001). Endothelial function improved in the IG after the 1 month flavonoid intake, with the FMD increasing from 14±5% (baseline) to 23±7% (post-intervention; p<0.001), with no significant differences in the CG. No significant variation was observed vis-à-vis BMI, blood pressure, HR and glycaemia.

Conclusion: The daily ingestion of 8g/day of 70% cocoa chocolateduring a month improves the endothelial function of young people, improving the endothelium-dependent vasodilatation.

Keywords: Endothelial function, flow mediated dilatation, flavonoids, dark chocolate

ISSN 2052-4358
Volume 2
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