Acute dark chocolate ingestion is beneficial for hemodynamics. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Acute dark chocolate ingestion is beneficial for hemodynamics via enhancement of erythrocyte deformability in healthy humans.
Nutr Res. 2017 Mar 7. Epub 2017 Mar 7. PMID: 28314639
Erythrocyte deformability is an important property of erythrocytes that considerably affects blood flow and hemodynamics. The high content of polyphenols present in dark chocolate has been reported to play a protective role in functionality of erythrocytes. We hypothesized that chocolate might influence erythrocytes not only after repeated chronic intake, but also immediately after its ingestion. Thus, we determined the acute effect of dark chocolate and milk (with lower content of biologically active substances) chocolate intake on erythrocyte deformability. We also focused on selected factors that may affect erythrocyte deformability, specifically nitric oxide production in erythrocytes and total antioxidant capacity of plasma. We determined posttreatment changes in the mentioned parameters 2hours after consumption of chocolate compared with their levels before consumption of chocolate. In contrast to milk chocolate intake, the dark chocolate led to a significantly higher increase in erythrocyte deformability. Nitric oxide production in erythrocytes was not changed after dark chocolate intake, but significantly decreased after milk chocolate. The plasma total antioxidant capacity remained unaffected after ingestion of both chocolates. We conclude that our hypothesis was confirmed. Single ingestion of dark chocolate improved erythrocyte deformability despite unchanged nitric oxide production and antioxidant capacity of plasma. Increased deformability of erythrocytes may considerably improve rheological properties of blood and thus hemodynamics in humans, resulting in better tissue oxygenation.