How Dark Chocolate May Help Blood Flow

As we age, it's important to take care of our bodies to ensure good health and well-being. One area of concern for many individuals is vascular health, which refers to the health of the blood vessels that transport blood throughout the body.

Peripheral arterial disease, also known as PAD, is a vascular disease causing a decrease in blood flow. However, research has shown that dark chocolate may be an effective way to improve vascular health and blood flow.

If you’re looking for peripheral vascular disease treatment, contact Southern Kentucky Vascular to get more information on treatment options from our vascular specialists.

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The Science Behind Dark Chocolate and Blood Flow

Dark chocolate is rich in compounds called polyphenols, which can help bodies fight inflammation. These compounds also help reduce oxidative stress and assist the body with forming nitric oxide, which causes blood vessels to dilate and helps improve blood flow.

The Journal of the American Heart Association published a study on the effects of dark chocolate and milk chocolate on peripheral arterial disease patients which affect 20 percent of adults over the age of 70 in Western countries. In the study, half of the participants were given milk chocolate with 30 percent of cocoa and the other half were given dark chocolate with 85 percent of cocoa. The participants that ate dark chocolate showed improved blood flow and were able to walk an average of 11 percent farther.

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Combining Dark Chocolate with Other Treatments

While dark chocolate has shown promise in improving vascular health, it should not be used as a standalone treatment for peripheral vascular disease. Our vascular specialist will recommend other treatment options such as medications or lifestyle changes to improve blood flow and reduce the risk of complications. Smoking is a major risk factor for peripheral vascular disease; quitting smoking and starting to exercise, and eating a healthy diet can also help improve vascular health and reduce the risk of complications.

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Get PAD Treatment With Southern Kentucky Vascular

If you are experiencing symptoms of peripheral arterial disease, it's important to seek treatment from a qualified vascular specialist. Southern Kentucky Vascular provides top-rated, high-quality treatment options for peripheral arterial disease and a variety of other vascular-related conditions. Our specialists and leading vascular surgeon, Dr. Don Brown, work hard to give every patient the best treatment to support vascular health. We are able to provide minimally invasive surgical treatment options for PAD such as angioplasty and stenting or bypass surgery.

Improving vascular health and blood flow is essential for good health and well-being, especially as we age. Dark chocolate has shown promise in improving vascular health but should be used in combination with other treatments recommended by vascular specialists. Contact Southern Kentucky Vascular today to request an appointment.