Cocoa flavonoids improve physical performance

Muscle mass declines with age and can lead to dependent living.

In this study, 60 people age 55 to 70 took a daily beverage placebo, a highly alkalinized non-flavonoid cocoa, or a beverage with 179 mg of natural flavonoid-rich cocoa. After 12 weeks, those taking cocoa flavonoids saw reductions in oxidation, glucose, and triglyceride levels, and increases in HDL, the “good” cholesterol, and decreases in LDL, the “bad” cholesterol. In a related study, 74 older people, aged 65 to 90, who took 179 mg of flavonoid-rich cocoa daily for 12 weeks, compared to placebo or non-flavonoid cocoa, had less oxidative stress and inflammation, increased by 115 feet the distance they could cover in a six-minute walking test, and added an average of 13 steps in a climbing test. Doctors said cocoa flavonoids appear to reproduce benefits similar to long-term physical conditioning. 

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