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Habitual cocoa intake reduces arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women regardless of intake frequency: a randomized parallel-group study

Authors Okamoto T, Kobayashi R, Natsume M, Nakazato K

Received 26 July 2016

Accepted for publication 15 October 2016

Published 14 November 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 1645—1652

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S118152

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Takanobu Okamoto,1 Ryota Kobayashi,1 Midori Natsume,2 Koichi Nakazato1

1Department of Exercise Physiology, Nippon Sport Science University, Tokyo, Japan; 2Food Sciences Research Laboratories, Meiji Co Ltd, Kanagawa, Japan

Abstract: Arterial stiffness is substantially higher in postmenopausal than in premenopausal women. Daily cocoa intake has been shown to reduce central arterial stiffness in health adults, regardless of age; however, the effect of cocoa-intake frequency on arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women remains unclear. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of cocoa-intake frequency on arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women. A total of 26 postmenopausal women (mean age ± standard deviation 64±12 years) were randomly assigned to two groups with different cocoa-intake frequencies: one group ingested 17 g of cocoa once daily except on Sundays (every-day group, n=13), and the other ingested 17 g of cocoa twice daily every other day (every-other-day group, n=13). These intake regimens were maintained in both groups for 12 weeks. Carotid–femoral pulse-wave velocity and femoral–ankle pulse-wave velocity were measured in both groups at baseline and again at the end of the 12-week study period. Compared to baseline, both pulse-wave velocities had significantly decreased after the 12-week study period in both groups (P<0.05). However, no significant difference in degree of change was observed between the two groups. Although this study did not include a sedentary control group, these results suggest that regardless of frequency, habitual cocoa intake reduces central and peripheral arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women.

Keywords: flavanol-enriched cocoa, pulse-wave velocity, intake frequency, endothelin 1

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