Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with high levels of inflammation and oxidative stress that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. A recent study(1) published in the journal Nutrients investigated whether the consumption of dark chocolate, rich in polyphenols, could help mitigate inflammation and delay CKD complications. The study involved 59 patients with CKD on hemodialysis, who were allocated into a chocolate group that consumed 40g of dark chocolate (70% cocoa) during hemodialysis sessions, three times a week, or a control group that received no intervention for two months.
The results showed that patients in the chocolate group had significantly reduced levels of the inflammatory cytokine TNF-α compared to the control group. However, there were no significant changes in oxidative stress parameters, routine biochemical parameters, anthropometric parameters, or food intake between the two groups.
The findings suggest that the intake of dark chocolate (70% cocoa) could benefit patients with CKD on hemodialysis by reducing inflammation without increasing the plasma levels of phosphorus and potassium in these patients.
TNF-α and IL-6 are inflammatory cytokines that are produced by immune cells in response to inflammation. The ELISA method is a biochemical assay that detects and measures the concentration of specific proteins or other substances in a sample. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances such as malondialdehyde (MDA) and LDLox levels are biomarkers used to evaluate lipid peroxidation, a process that occurs when free radicals attack fats in the body's cells and tissues, leading to inflammation and other health problems.
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