Original Article

Heart and Vessels

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 511-515

Flavanol-rich cocoa ameliorates lipemia-induced endothelial dysfunction

  • Sabine WestphalAffiliated withInstitute of Clinical Chemistry, Magdeburg University Hospital Email author 
  • , Claus LuleyAffiliated withInstitute of Clinical Chemistry, Magdeburg University Hospital

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Consumption of flavanols improves chronic endothelial dysfunction. We investigated whether it can also improve acute lipemia-induced endothelial dysfunction. In this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover trial, 18 healthy subjects received a fatty meal with cocoa either rich in flavanols (918 mg) or flavanol-poor. Flow-mediated dilation (FMD), triglycerides, and free fatty acids were then determined over 6 h. After the flavanol-poor fat loading, the FMD deteriorated over 4 h. The consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa, in contrast, improved this deterioration in hours 2, 3, and 4 without abolishing it completely. Flavanols did not have any influence on triglycerides or on free fatty acids. Flavanol-rich cocoa can alleviate the lipemia-induced endothelial dysfunction, probably through an improvement in endothelial NO synthase.


Flavanol Endothelial dysfunction Postprandial lipemia Flow-mediated vasodilation