Cocoa may help diabetes & heart failure

Cocoa may help diabetes & heart failure

As holistic and alternative medical practitioners continue their research to find nature’s remedy to various ailments, it becomes more astonishing that we have lived with an abundance of these plants, often right under our nose, especially those of us who live in more tropical climes.   U.S. researchers have found that patients with advanced heart failure and type 2 Diabetes showed improvement after three months of consuming epicatechin enriched cocoa. Cocoa as we all know is derived from the plant of the same name.   Dr. Francisco J. Villarreal of University of California, San Diego, confirmed that epicatechin is a flavonoid found in dark chocolate.   “The researchers examined five extremely ill patients with major damage to the skeletal muscle mitochondria, which are the structures responsible for most of the energy produced in cells. These “fuel cells” were dysfunctional as a result of both type 2 diabetes and heart failure, which lead to abnormalities in skeletal muscle,” Villarreal said.   Patients with heart failure and diabetes experience abnormalities in both the heart and skeletal muscle that can result in impaired functional capacity. They often complain of shortness of breath, lack of energy and have difficulty walking even short distances.   Trial participants consumed dark chocolate bars and a beverage with a total epicatechin content of approximately 100 milligram per day for three months. Biopsies of skeletal muscle were conducted before and after treatment.   After three months, the researchers looked at changes in mitochondria volume and the abundance of cristae, which are internal compartments of mitochondria necessary for efficient functioning of the mitochondria. “The cristae had been severely damaged...