12 Dec 2011

Benefits of Black Chocolate in Smokers

A recent study has shown that flavonol-rich chocolates may be a huge benefit to smokers who have ruined their blood vessels due to their nicotine habit, sometimes the damage is temporary. It is being believed at the moment that this benefit may arise out of the flavonoids that these chocolates are filled with, which are antioxidants. Flavonoids are also found in vegetables and fruits.

The American College of Cardiology Journal brought out this study that seems to have brought on some relief to smokers. It was done by a research group based in Germany. The study followed 11 people, all of them about 31 years old. All of them were smokers and that was the only habit that brought about a risk of heart disease. As you must know, smoking increases the risk of heart diseases. All the subjects included in the study were smokers because it is a known fact their blood vessels experience expansion and contraction abnormally when they smoke. This again brings about a change in their blood vessel flow. The researchers were interested to know what these abnormalities exactly were in smokers. Endothelial dysfunction, a condition that is typically found in smokers can cause stroke or heart attack and even lead to death. Anyway, the subjects were told that they could not smoke for 12 hours before the start of experiment and to go on a fast. All of them were given 2 cocoa drinks: one which was poor in flavonol and one which was rich in it. Both of them tasted the same. The researchers noticed that the function of the blood vessel was better after the subjects drank the flavonol rich drink.

The researchers also believe that this effect was due to the increase of a chemical called nitric oxide in the blood. The long term effects of chocolate on blood vessels function of smokers has however not been studied yet.

It has to be mentioned that the flavonol chocolate drinks that were prepared to be given to the subjects contained a much higher degree of flavonoids than what is found in commercial chocolates. So just drinking a lot of hot chocolate or eating chocolate bars will do nothing for smokers. In fact, the American College of Cardiology has said in a new release that smokers should not risk their health by depending on chocolate for taking care of their blood vessels. Instead they should try and quit smoking.

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