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Volunteers wanted to eat chocolate

24th July 2009

Scientists at the University of East Anglia are looking for female volunteers to eat dark chocolate daily for a year.

Chocolates

They are investigating how the flavonoids contained in chocolate could lessen the danger of heart disease.

Funding for the research has come from Diabetes UK and will involve people working at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the Institute of Food Research.

The team want to study women aged under 76, who have had the menopause and who have type 2 diabetes. The women also must not smoke or have used statins to lower their cholesterol.

The volunteers will have their danger of heart disease assessed five times over the twelve month period in order to see if the chocolate is having an effect.

They will also give blood and urine samples, fill in questionnaires and have an ultrasound of their arteries.

Dr Peter Curtis, of the UEA's School of Medicine, said: "Our first volunteers are about to return for their final visit to see if the markers of heart health – such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels – have changed."

"A successful outcome could be the first step in developing new ways to improve the lives of people at increased risk of heart disease."

The tests on the new volunteers will use specially-made, bitter-tasting bars which are high in flavonoids.

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