A major study last month confirmed that statins are basically a bust. They do practically nothing for cardiovascular risk.
Meanwhile, a second study found something else that does what those cholesterol drugs were supposed to do. It cuts the risk of death from heart problems.
But it’s not a statin. It’s not related to cholesterol. And, in fact, it’s not even a drug.
This heart solution is an all-natural compound that delivers where risky pharmaceutical drugs have failed.
But that’s not even the craziest part of this story. What’s truly wild here is where this heart-supporting solution comes from.
Because, believe it or not, it’s found in chocolate. Or cocoa, to be more specific.
Cocoa compounds can cut cardiovascular risk
Now I want to be clear here. You can’t buy a box of Mars bars and eat them for good health.
The Mars bars big wigs would love for folks to believe that I’m sure. It’s likely why they were among the companies that funded this study. They even bankrolled the supplement used in the trial.
That supplement was a 500 mg cocoa flavanols extract. It was tested against a look-alike placebo, both with and without a multivitamin.
And the cocoa extract accomplished something that has more than just candy makers salivating. It has Big Pharma CEOs turning green with envy, too.
After all, until recently, statins were drug company darlings. They were once considered the ultimate med for cardiovascular protection. But they had virtually no effect on major outcomes in a recent study. And that includes the most important one of all… death.
But in the new study, the cocoa-based supplement delivered what the statins didn’t. The extract cut the risk of death from cardiovascular problems by an impressive 27 percent over 3.6 years.
Flavanols deliver benefits without the sugar
Now don’t forget, the heart benefits come from the compounds in cocoa… not from sugary candy bars. And there are two reasons for that…
- First, the number of flavanols found in a chocolate bar can vary widely, so you’ll never get consistent quantities.
- And second, the study used a LOT of those cocoa flavanols. It’s more than what you’ll get from even the healthiest chocolate bar and between three and five times what you might find in a typical candy bar.
But keep in mind there are other flavanols beyond what’s found in cocoa. And if you concentrate on including a wide range of these potent plant compounds in your diet, you’ll have a better shot at even bigger heart and overall health benefits.
For example, studies show that higher doses of flavanols could help cut blood pressure, protect blood vessels, enhance brain function, and even potentially reduce cancer risks.
Don’t worry. You can still enjoy some chocolate in moderation. Just choose the high-quality dark chocolate variety to maximize any cocoa benefits.
But to really bump up your flavanol levels and make the most of their health payoffs, be sure to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. And go ahead and enjoy some coffee or tea to wash them down while you’re at it.
Plus, to round things out, consider adding an antioxidant supplement with flavanols to your routine as well.
I shared two more delicious flavanol-rich foods that you will want to try in my earlier report, “Slash blood pressure with potent plant nutrients.”
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