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Myeloma- Dark Chocolate- Skin, Heart, Brain

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regular cocoa flavanol/dark chocolate consumption had positive effects on facial wrinkles and elasticity. Cocoa flavanol supplementation may contribute to the prevention of the progression of photo-aging

I have been a multiple myeloma survivor since my diagnosis in February of 1994. Conventional MM therapies such as my induction chemotherapy, radiation and an autologous stem cell transplant have aged me. By “aged me” I am talking about the stress of living with an incurable cancer and I am talking about how toxic chemotherapy and radiation causes a person’s DNA to age.

Surviving multiple myeloma is about much more than chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

I have photo-aged skin, wrinkles and elasticity challenges. I do care about my skin. I  care about how my heart and brain age.

I eat dark chocolate (cocoa flavanol ) regularly for heart and brain health. Not to mention that it tastes good. Aggressive chemotherapy left me with considerable long-term side effects so I am always on the lookout for nutritional therapies to heal my collateral damage.

The studies linked and excerpted below cite the skin, heart and brain health properties of cocoa flavanols. But the real issue is how best to consume cocoa flavanols. According to an evaluation of dark chocolate bars by Consumerlab.com, an independent testing service,

“our top pick is Endangered Species Dark Chocolate 88% Cacao. Based on our tests in 2014 it provides the second highest flavanols but with a somewhat smoother taste than the unsweetened baker’s bar…Endangered Species is also low in calories relative to the other bars in terms of getting equivalent amounts of flavanols (91 calories per 200 mgs of flavanols)…”

To Learn More about Cocoa- click now

I am both a MM survivor and MM cancer coach. Please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Cocoa Flavanol Supplementation Influences Skin Conditions of Photo-Aged Women: A 24-Week Double-Blind, Randomized, Controlled Trial

“The aim of this study was to investigate whether high-flavanol cocoa supplementation would improve the moderately photo-aged facial skin of female participants, by assessing skin wrinkles and elasticity…

Conclusions: In moderately photo-aged women, regular cocoa flavanol consumption had positive effects on facial wrinkles and elasticity. Cocoa flavanol supplementation may contribute to the prevention of the progression of photo-aging.”

Cocoa flavanols can protect cardiovascular health

“Cocoa flavanols were found lower blood pressure and increase blood vessel function in two recent studies, potentially offering benefits that reduce the risk for developing cardiovascular diseases, or CVD…

Researchers reported daily intake of flavanols increased vasodilation among the participants, as well as decreasing blood pressure and improving their cholesterol profile. After calculating their Framingham Risk Score, a measure of the 10-year risk for developing CVD, researchers saw a 22 percent reduction for CVD risk and 31 percent drop in the risk of having a heart attack among participants who consumed flavanols.

“The reduction seen in risk scores suggests that flavanols may have primary preventive potential for CVD,” Kelm said.”

The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance

“Cocoa powder and chocolate contain numerous substances among which there is a quite large percentage of antioxidant molecules, mainly flavonoids, most abundantly found in the form of epicatechin. These substances display several beneficial actions on the brain…

Chocolate also induces positive effects on mood and is often consumed under emotional stress. In addition, flavonoids preserve cognitive abilities during ageing in rats, lower the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and decrease the risk of stroke in humans…”

Studies: Dark chocolate can lower stress and inflammation, improve memory

April 25 (UPI) — Consuming dark chocolate has several benefits to brain function, including reducing stress levels and inflammation, and improving mood, memory and immunity, according to two studies…

In the past, research has shown that cacao is a major source of flavonoids. Because they are extremely potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, flavonoids benefit brain and cardiovascular health, the researchers said…

He noted the higher the concentration of cacao, the more positive the impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity and other beneficial effects.

One study was how dark chocolate affects human gene expression, including immune response, neural signaling and sensory perception.

The other study examined how cacao enhances neuroplasticity for behavioral and brain health benefits…”

“Cocoa flavanol consumption improves cognitive function, blood pressure control, and metabolic profile in elderly subjects”

Dentate gyrus, high flavanol intervention, cognition? Why can’t researchers just tell us what we want to know? The point of the study linked and excerpted below is that flavanol rich dark chocolate helps the aging brain work better.

I started eating dark chocolate because I watched a Ted Talk where the speaker referred to it “daily non-toxic chemotherapy.” I’m a cancer survivor who wants to stay cancer-free. In addition, I read an study explaining that dark chocolate is heart-healthy. Thank you Dr. Bill Li.

Consumerlab.com, an independent testing service found Endangered Species Chocolate Natural Dark Chocolate with 88% Cocoa to be the lowest-cost dark chocolate per 200 mg of flavanols. ESCNDC is now my brand of dark chocolate.

ConsumerLab.com Flavenol/Dark Chocolate Report (must be a member to read)-

Yes,  milk chocolate is sweeter than dark chocolate. However, dark chocolate has less cocoa butter and is a lot less fattening. I’ve been eating dark chocolate for awhile now and I find it satisfying- I find milk chocolate to taste too sweet.

Enhancing dentate gyrus function with dietary flavanols improves cognition in older adults.

“The dentate gyrus (DG) is a region in the hippocampal formation whose function declines in association with human aging and is therefore considered to be a possible source of age-related memory decline…

A high-flavanol intervention was found to enhance DG function, as measured by fMRI and by cognitive testing. Our findings establish that DG dysfunction is a driver of age-related cognitive decline and suggest non-pharmacological means for its amelioration.”

Cocoa flavanol consumption improves cognitive function, blood pressure control, and metabolic profile in elderly subjects: the Cocoa, Cognition, and Aging (CoCoA) Study—a randomized controlled trial1,2,3,4

Background: Recent evidence has indicated that flavanol consumption may have many health benefits in humans, including improved cognitive activities.

Objective: The aim was to evaluate the effect of flavanol consumption on cognitive performance in cognitively intact elderly subjects…

ConclusionsThis dietary intervention study provides evidence that regular CF consumption can reduce some measures of age-related cognitive dysfunction, possibly through an improvement in insulin sensitivity. These data suggest that the habitual intake of flavanols can support healthy cognitive function with age…”


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