Dark chocolate contains a flavonoid called epicatechin and this flavonoid is helpful in enhancing mitochondria structure in individuals with advanced heart failure and type 2 diabetes. Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure (CHF), means your heart can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs. Over time, conditions such as narrowed arteries in your heart (coronary artery disease) or high blood pressure gradually leave your heart too weak or stiff to fill and pump efficiently. Medications can improve the signs and symptoms of heart failure and help you live longer. The best way to prevent heart failure is to control risk factors and conditions that cause heart failure, such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or obesity.
Type 2 diabetes, once known as adult-onset or non insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar (glucose), your body’s main source of fuel. With type 2 diabetes, your body either resists the effects of insulin — a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells or doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain a normal glucose level. Untreated, type 2 diabetes can be life-threatening.
Advanced heart failure and type 2 diabetes can be improved by lifestyle changes, such as exercising, reducing the salt in your diet, managing stress, treating depression, and especially losing weight and apart from these; dark chocolate can be certainly effective in improving such health conditions by working over the mitochondria in the patients’ body. The mitochondria are organelles that produce energy, which cells need to survive and reproduce. Damaged mitochondria in patients with heart failure and type 2 diabetes causes abnormalities in skeletal muscle, which in turn leads to shortness of breath, fatigue, and difficulty walking short distances. If the patients with heart failure and type 2 diabetes include chocolates in their diets then improvements can be seen in both mitochondria volume and in the amount of cristae, which are essential for efficient functioning of mitochondria.
Highest levels of chocolate consumption are associated with a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29% reduction in stroke compared with lowest levels. In comparison to the white chocolate, the dark chocolate shows more improvement in cognitive function and visual sensitivity in diabetic patients and patients suffering from heat problems. Thus, for patients with heart failure and type 2 diabetes, a daily dose of chocolate does more than taste good—it sweetens their life and improves their muscle function.