Dark chocolate acutely improves walking autonomy in patients with peripheral artery disease

Lorenzo Loffredo, Ludovica Perri, Elisa Catasca, Pasquale Pignatelli, Monica Brancorsini, Cristina Nocella, Elena De Falco, Simona Bartimoccia, Giacomo Frati, Roberto Carnevale, Francesco Violi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background-NOX-2, the catalytic subunit of NADPH oxidase, has a key role in the formation of reactive oxidant species and is implicated in impairing flow-mediated dilation (FMD). Dark chocolate exerts artery dilatation via down-regulating NOX2-mediated oxidative stress. The aim of this study was to investigate whether dark chocolate improves walking autonomy in peripheral artery disease (PAD) patients via an oxidative stress-mediated mechanism. Methods and Results-FMD, serum levels of isoprostanes, nitrite/nitrate (NOx) and sNOX2-dp, a marker of blood NOX2 activity, maximal walking distance (MWD) and maximal walking time (MWT) were studied in 20 PAD patients (14 males and 6 females, mean age: 69±9 years) randomly allocated to 40 g of dark chocolate (>85% cocoa) or 40 g of milk chocolate (≤35% cocoa) in a single blind, cross-over design. The above variables were assessed at baseline and 2 hours after chocolate ingestion. Dark chocolate intake significantly increased MWD (+11%; P

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001072
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Antioxidant
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Chocolate
  • Oxidant stress
  • Peripheral vascular disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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