Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate for Liver Disease

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Liver Disease Try Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

There may be health benefits of dark chocolate for patients suffering from diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver according to research reported by the European Association for the Study of Liver (EASL).

This study showed that eating dark chocolate reduced damage to the blood vessels of cirrhotic patients and also lowered blood pressure in the liver. Dark chocolate contains potent antioxidants which reduce the post-prandial (after-meal) blood pressure in the liver (or portal hypertension) associated with damaged liver blood vessels (endothelial dysfunction). The data also showed that eating dark chocolate may exert additional beneficial effects throughout the whole body.

Professor Mark Thursz, MD FRCP, Vice Secretary of EASL and Professor of Hepatology, at Imperial College London said “As well as advanced technologies and high science, it is important to explore the potential of alternative sources which can contribute to the overall well being of a patient. This study shows a clear association between eating dark chocolate and portal hypertension and demonstrates the potential importance of improvements in the management of cirrhotic patients, to minimize the onset and impactof end stage liver disease and its associated mortality risks”.

We’ve known about dark chocolate lowering blood pressure, but now more information for patients with liver disease. Cirrhosis is the scarring of the liver as a result of long-term, continuous damage to the liver. Circulation in the liver is damaged by oxidative stress and reduced antioxidant systems. After eating, blood pressure in the abdominal veins usually increases due to increased blood flow to the liver. This is particularly dangerous and damaging to cirrhotic patients as they already have increased blood pressure in the liver (portal hypertension) and elsewhere which, if severe, can cause blood vessel rupture. Thus, eating dark chocolate may ultimately prevent this potential threat to cirrhotic patients.

Some of the highest antioxidant chocolate available is healthy cold pressed chocolate. After drinking a high antioxidant dark chocolate the liver patients in this study had more blood flow in the liver as compared to the white chocolate control.

Doctors soon could be prescribing dark chocolate for liver patients. Wouldn’t that be nice.

 

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