The effects of cocoa flavanol supplementation on endothelial function and exercise performance.

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Abstract

Cocoa flavanols have gained attention from beneficial effects on endothelial function and exercise performance, especially in clinical populations. Few studies have utilized healthy college-aged adults. Twenty college-aged males and females completed this randomized, double-blind study. Participants completed 14 days of supplementation with either cocoa flavanols (375 mg) or placebo (0 mg cocoa flavanols). Measurements on flow-mediated dilation (FMD%), resting heart rate, resting blood pressure, and exercise performance (anaerobic and aerobic) were performed pre- and postsupplementation. There were no significant interactions between groups and time or any main effects for dependent variables. Treatment group FMD% tended to increase insignificantly from 16.48 ± 2.69% to 18.24 ± 3.18%, while placebo group decreased insignificantly from 22.70 ± 2.84 to 15.76 ± 3.35, p = .25. Cocoa flavanol supplementation does not appear to significantly improve endothelial function or exercise performance in the population used. Future studies could use larger doses on larger samples.

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Cocoa flavanols. Endothelial function. Exercise performance.

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