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Diabetes UK funds trial to explore effects of chocolate compound

Diabetes UK is funding a three year trial to investigate whether flavonoids, compounds found in chocolate, can protect older women with diabetes from heart disease.

Older women with diabetes are five times more likely to develop heart disease than women without diabetes. Research suggests that although statin therapy can reduce the risk of heart disease, foods like cocoa and soy which contain flavonoids, can offer further protection from the disease.

It is hoped the trial will pave the way for a larger clinical study to examine the subject in more detail.

Healthy diet

Diabetes UK warns that people must not consume vast quantities of chocolate. “We certainly don’t advise people to start eating a lot of chocolate as it’s very high in sugar and fat", said Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK. "We would always recommend that people with diabetes eat a diet low in fat, salt and sugar with plenty of fruit and vegetables.

”However, there are compounds found in chocolate, called flavonoids, that are thought to provide some protection from heart disease.  Diabetes UK is funding this trial to establish whether flavonoids can protect the heart in older women with diabetes who are five times more likely to develop heart disease than women without diabetes. A successful outcome of this research would hopefully mean being able to offer people at high risk better protection over and above that provided by conventional drugs."

Get involved

Women who wish to volunteer should contact Andrea Brown at the University of East Anglia on 01603 288570 or email her

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