The study followed 15 adults under 50-years-old and 19 adults over 50. All participants drank a specially processed flavanol-rich cocoa for four to six days. Researchers reported in the Journal of Hypertension that blood vessel function improved in both sets of adults, but older ones seemed to benefit more.
"Aging is typically associated with deterioration in vessel health, specifically related to function of the critical inner lining, or endothelium," said lead researcher Naomi Fisher, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
"Our findings demonstrate that consumption of this flavonol-rich cocoa can improve the function of blood vessels in a healthy elderly population."