A compound in apples, tea and cocoa, called epicatechin, lowers the risk for dying from heart disease, according to a study from Wageningen University in The Netherlands. Epicatechin intake was assessed four times during a 15-year period in 774 men ages 65- to 84-years-old at the study’s start. That information was compared to incidence of heart disease mortality during the subsequent 25-years. The average daily intake of epicatechin was 15.2 milligrams and the major sources came from tea (51%), apples (28%), and cocoa (7%). Results showed that during the 25 years, 329 men died from heart disease and 72 men died from stroke. Risk of heart disease mortality was 38% lower in men who consumed the most compared to men who consumed the least epicatechin. The researchers state that this is the first time epicatechin intake has been linked to an inverse relationship to heart disease death in men.
Dower J, Geleijnse J, Hollman P, et al: Dietary epicatechin intake and 25-y risk of cardiovascular mortality. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2016;104:58-64.