Researchers at the University of California have found that a flavanol in chocolate, epicatechin, can increase the growth of small blood vessels called capillaries in mice.

Their research was conducted in terms of the effects of increased angiogenesis¬†on exercising ability or potential. The actual paper, which I haven’t gone through, can be found here: (-)-epicatechin enhances fatigue resistance and oxidative capacity in mouse muscle.

The researcher interviewed does stress that very, very small amounts of chocolate were used in his study, and that eating more chocolate may  negate the potential benefits of epicatechin on capillary angiogenesis, a sort of U-shaped dose response curve, if you will.

What I am curious about, and what they do not address, is how this may negatively contribute to the progression of certain disease such as cancer, in which budding tumors encourage massive angiogenesis in their vicinity to provide the growth with the oxygen, nutrients and waste disposal it needs.

Advertisements