Impact of Flavonoids on Fatigue in Patients with RRMS

A recent study showed that flavonoid-rich cocoa improved fatigue by 45% in patients with relapsing and remitting multiple sclerosis.

A recent study

sought to determine the impact of flavonoids on fatigue in relapsing and remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).

Nine out of 10 people with multiple sclerosis experience fatigue, which can be extremely difficult to treat and have adverse effects on health and quality of life. Dark chocolate containing 70% to 85% cocoa solids is well known for its high antioxidant and flavonoid content and has been shown in a previous small randomized controlled pilot study to suggest an increase in quality of sleep and reduction in fatigue.

Researchers in this trial enrolled 40 patients recently diagnosed with RRMS in a parallel, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in order to analyze the feasibility and efficacy of a flavonoid intervention. Patients were randomized to a high (n = 19) or low (n = 21) flavonoid groups.

Participants were provided a cocoa beverage mixed with heated rice milk by the lead researcher at baseline and at week 3, and they were asked to consume the drink in their homes daily. The beverage was consumed after an overnight fast at the same time each morning. After the beverage was consumed, participants were instructed to wait 30 minutes before eating any other food or beverage and/or take their medication.

Throughout the 6-week intervention participants were asked to rate their level of fatigue on a numerical scale from 1 to 10 (10 being the worst). Patients rated their level of fatigue 3 times per day for 6 weeks. Fatigability was measured at baseline and week 6 using a 6-minute walk test.

Continue reading on The American Journal of Managed Care.