Faculty of Medicine

Cocoa flavanols – good for the heart and circulation of patients with kidney failure

A ray of hope for dialysis patients: a plant-based component, which can also be found in dark chocolate and green tea, could help protect their vessels. Given that their generally weakened heart/circulatory system stand to be damaged further still as a result of dialysis treatment, this discovery represents a real breakthrough. The fact that food-enhancing cocoa flavanols help patients protect their blood vessels can now be proven by scientists from the Faculty of Medicine within the Clinics for Cardiology at Essen and Düsseldorf University Hospitals. Prof. Tienush Rassaf, Director of the Clinic for Cardiology at Essen University Hospital, worked together with colleagues from Düsseldorf University Hospital to establish the precise effects that cocoa flavanols have on the vascular function of critically ill patients suffering from kidney failure. With a high dose of flavanol (820 mg/d), the patients’ vascular function can be improved in both the short and long term.