Objective The aim of this study is to observe the effects of dark chocolate on endothelial function after a series of successive apnea dives in non-thermoneutral water. Methods Twenty breath-hold divers were divided into two groups: a control group (8 males and 2 females) and a chocolate group (9 males and 1 female). The control group was asked to perform a series of dives to 20 m adding up to 20 min in the quiet diving pool of Conflans-Ste-Honorine (Paris, France), water temperature was 27 °C. The chocolate group performed the dives 1 h after ingestion of 30 g of dark chocolate. Flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), digital photoplethysmography, nitric oxide (NO), and peroxynitrite ONOO−) levels were measured before and after each series of breath-hold dives. Results A significant decrease in FMD was observed in the control group after the dives (95.28 ± 2.9 % of pre-dive values, p < 0.001) while it was increased in the chocolate group (104.1 ± 2.9 % of pre-dive values, p < 0.01). A decrease in the NO level was observed in the control group (86.76 ± 15.57 %, p < 0.05) whereas no difference was shown in the chocolate group (98.44 ± 31.86 %, p > 0.05). No differences in digital photoplethysmography and peroxynitrites were observed between before and after the dives. Conclusion Antioxidants contained in dark chocolate scavenge free radicals produced during breath-hold diving. Ingestion of 30 g of dark chocolate 1 h before the dive can thus prevent endothelial dysfunction which can be observed after a series of breath-hold dives.
|Journal||European Journal of Applied Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|
- breath-hold dives
- cool water