Dark chocolates can improve walking ability in people with artery diseases, says study.
People with peripheral artery disease (PAD) who ate a dark chocolate bar were able to slightly increase the time and distance they walked a couple of hours later, compared to people who ate milk chocolate, Fox News reported.
Lead author Dr. Lorenzo Loffredo, from Sapienza University in Rome, said that nutrients were the key components of health and disease, and added that polyphenols compounds, which are much more plentiful in dark chocolate than milk chocolate, may be one of the reasons for the improved performance.
The researchers also measured a type of gas in the blood that has been linked to improved blood flow, and found it was higher among those who ate dark chocolate, compared to those who ate milk chocolate.
Dr. Thom Rooke, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester said that eating dark chocolate would also add to the calories consumed by people.
About one in five people ages 70 years and older living in Western countries is affected by PAD, which is a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes and can cause legs to hurt and cramp while walking.
This study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.