Chocolates containing flavonoids were recently cited to aid diabetic women. This study by professionals at UC San Diego Health System has shown that epicatechin-enriched cocoa could improve muscle skeletal function in people suffering from diabetes and advanced heart disease.

In this trial, 5 sick patients with substantial impairment in their skeletal muscle mitochondrias were inspected. The mitochondrial muscle is generally dysfunctional in patients affected by heart failure or type 2 diabetes. These subjects consumed bars of dark chocolate and a beverage with cumulative epicatechin content of 100mg. The latter is a flavonoid present in dark chocolate, which the participants ate every day for a span of 3 months.

“The cristae had been severely damaged and decreased in quantity in these patients. After three months, we saw recovery – cristae numbers back toward normal levels, and increases in several molecular indicators involved in new mitochondria production,” commented one of the senior investigators, Francisco J. Villarreal, MD, PhD of UC San Diego’s Department of Medicine’s Division of Cardiology.

According to the outcomes of the study, patients seemingly showed improvements in their skeletal and heart muscle functions. The cristae are components of mitochondria vital for efficient functioning of the same.

The results of this study were initially demonstrated in a set of mice too. A larger trial for better understanding of this link between cocoa and better skeletal function is underway. This article is published in the journal, Clinical and Translational Science.