Biopharma Business

Chocolate pill could help cut heart disease risk

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Chocolate pill could help cut heart disease risk

February 28
11:34 2017

The BlowFlow+ pill is the first such product to be made entirely out of chocolate. It’s available in the UK and is aimed at those suffering from heart problems.

Research published in the Journal of Hypertension has shown that flavanols, extracted from cocoa can help tackle cholesterol levels and blood flow. However, unless you eat 400g of dark chocolate, approximately 2,429 calories, you won’t get the effective dose that BloodFlow+ claims to offer.

The research also shows that flavanols assist the production of nitric oxide which triggers the arterial wall muscles to relax.

BloodFlow+ has been approved by the European Safety Authority (EFSA) as a product with health claims supported by scientific studies.

Every year 17.5 million people die from cardiovascular diseases, a trend that is rising due to ageing populations.

Dr Alf Lindberg, advisor of research company Cambridge Nutraceuticals  said: “We believe this is the way forward. New analysis is showing there are powerful compounds in many natural nutrients that could help maintain the health of everyone. We support the huge amount of research has gone into Blood Flow+ and we are delighted that it is the first cocoa flavanol product officially allowed to claim it benefits heart health. Maintaining the elasticity of blood vessels is very important. Even slightly elevated blood pressure in midlife is linked to increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and dementia. Increased blood pressure in middle age is in part due to increased vascular stiffness and current blood pressure treatments are not very effective at reversing or preventing vascular stiffness. Cocoa flavanols and some other dietary polyphenols likely confer benefits that current antihypertensives do not.”

A five-year programme tracking the health of 18,000 people ages over 60 is being conducted by Mars Symboscience.

Catherin Kwik-Uribe, the company’s global research director, said: “We are now primarily investigating the cardiovascular effects of flavanols in an older population of men and women, but the results will not be available until 2020.”

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