Thursday, July 23, 2009

Women Wanted For Chocolate Experiments

Now THIS is research I can really rally behind!
Scientists are hunting for new volunteers who will be required to eat chocolate every day for a year.

Boffins studying the potential health benefits of dark chocolate at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, Norfolk, need 40 women to test specially made bars.

Participants must be post-menopausal and have type 2 diabetes to help see whether flavonoid compounds in chocolate can reduce the risk of heart disease.

Some 150 volunteers who took part in the study's first round of tests last year will soon be tested for any health benefits.

Dr Peter Curtis, of the UEA's School of Medicine, said: "Our first volunteers are about to return for their final visit to see if the markers of heart health - such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels - have changed.

"A successful outcome could be the first step in developing new ways to improve the lives of people at increased risk of heart disease."

Researchers believe that chocolate rich in flavonoid plant compounds found in cocoa and soy could help postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes ward off heart disease.

A Belgian chocolatier has been used to create bars rich in flavonoids, and the test bars used in the clinical trials are said to have a "bitter" taste.

The new volunteers must be under 76 years old and must not have had a period for at least one year or be taking HRT.

Volunteers must also be non-smokers and have been taking cholesterol lowering drugs such as statins for at least a year.

The UEA said that this will involve giving blood and urine samples, having an ultrasound scan of their arteries and filling in questionnaires about their lifestyle.

Participants would have their risk of heart disease tested five times during the year to see whether change occurred.

The study is being funded by research group Diabetes UK and staff from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the Institute of Food Research would be involved.

Chocolate and heart health .... WOW!

1 comment:

Lori said...

Yeah, I can rally behind this sort of research too!