Press Release: World leaders in cardiology meet to discuss
potential cardiovascular benefits of chocolate
(Aug) 08:28, 2000
This is a press release by a company (Mars, Inc.) that makes chocolate bars,
which explains the somewhat optimistic title. The reportage concerns a
paper presented at the European Society of Cardiology meeting this August in
Amsterdam a few days ago regarding chocolate by Dr. Carl Keen from UC Davis.
The press release does a reasonable (if slightly slanted) job of reporting
The ESC abstracts are not yet on the web. They perhaps will be in the near
future at AstraZeneca's site:
http://www.incirculation.com, which does have a number of news stories
featuring events and presentations at the ESC 2000 meeting. So anyway, back
to the chocolate bar manufacturer's happy interpretation of the findings:
SOURCE: Mars, Incorporated
World Leaders in Cardiology Meet to Discuss Potential Cardiovascular
Health Benefits of Chocolate
AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, Aug. 28 /PRNewswire/ World leaders in cardiology
met today at the 22nd Congress of the
European Society of Cardiology (ESC) to discuss new research that suggests
the potential role of chocolate in helping to
maintain cardiovascular health.
New research suggests that cocoa polyphenols (naturally present in the cocoa
in chocolate) may help to maintain
cardiovascular health in the following way: In laboratory studies, cocoa
polyphenols appear to help relax blood vessels
(vasodilation). Blood vessel function is increasingly being recognized by
cardiologists as an important factor in the
development of heart disease.
A year ago, there was little research available to suggest that chocolate may
help to maintain heart health. Now, many
scientists believe that cocoa polyphenols, naturally occurring substances
within chocolate can act like antioxidants.
Antioxidants, also found in fruit and vegetables, have been shown to prevent
damage to our bodies. Importantly,
antioxidants help reduce LDL oxidation, minimizing the effects of this
``bad'' cholesterol in the body that is
implicated in coronary heart disease; and may be anti-thrombogenic. This
means that cocoa polyphenols may help reduce
the formation of blood clots.
In addition, the main fat in chocolate is stearic acid, shown to exert a
neutral effect on blood cholesterol.
``We have already conducted preliminary research and are finding more
evidence to suggest that regular intake of active
cocoa components may contribute to a lower risk of blood clots within blood
vessels,'' comments Carl Keen, PhD,
professor and chair, Department of Nutrition, professor, Department of
Internal Medicine, University of California,
Davis, and lead researcher and presenter of the data at the ESC Congress.
``While more research is necessary, these
results suggest that chocolate may contribute to a healthy diet.''
The ESC Congress is one of the major cardiovascular educational and
scientific events worldwide. The ESC hosts key
meetings on the latest advancements in cardiovascular science and medicine.
This year, the society is celebrating its
Although cocoa polyphenols are naturally occurring components in cocoa,
manufacturing processes, such as fermentation
and roasting, can affect the levels of cocoa polyphenols that are in the
final chocolate product. In Mars chocolate
products, much of the natural levels of polyphenols found in the raw cocoa
are maintained through proprietary processes
that help prevent the destruction of the cocoa polyphenols during processing.
Products made with these processes carry
the trademark Cocoapro(TM), which is currently found on such favorites as
``M&M's''r Chocolate Candies, DOVEr Chocolate
and SNICKERSr Bars.
Contact: Barbara King or Melissa McAllister, both of Aronow & Pollock
Communications, Inc., 212-941-1414, for Mars,
SOURCE: Mars, Incorporated