A Rare Indulgence

New research suggests that a cup of cocoa each day can protect the cardiovascular system from the debilitating effects of stress.

CRAIN'S COMMENTS

It’s rare that the medical research community finds an indulgence that might actually be good for you.

New research suggests that a cup of cocoa each day can protect the cardiovascular system from the debilitating effects of stress.

The body reacts physically to emotional stress as well as physical threats. Typical reactions include an increase in heart rate (number of heartbeats per minute), increase in blood pressure, and dilation of arteries to handle the increase in blood flow.

If there are any latent weaknesses in the cardiovascular system, stress events can trigger major problems, including heart attack and stroke. A break in an artery wall in the wrong place in the body can be fatal. Any major event while driving can have fatal results.

Endothelial cells line the walls of blood vessels. Breakdown in endothelial cell function is often a precursor of a variety of heart and vascular diseases.

Flavanols…

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