Aubrey L. Johnson1, Michael J. Webster, FACSM2. 1Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA. 2Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA.

BACKGROUND: Several recent reports have indicated positive health and exercise benefits of (-)-epicatechin-rich cocoa products. It was recently reported from our laboratory that 30-d of dark chocolate supplementation resulted in a 9.6% increase in resting energy expenditure in exercise trained females. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of dark chocolate consumption on resting and exercise metabolism in postmenopausal women. METHODS: Using a randomized, double-blind design 24 postmenopausal subjects were assigned to a 30-day supplementation with either 20-g per day of 70% dark chocolate (DC) (n=12) or a calorically matched white chocolate (WC) (n=12). Prior to supplementation, subjects underwent two control trials (separated by 3-7 days) for indirect calorimetry assessments (PRE1, PRE2) of resting energy expenditure (REE) and moderate intensity exercise energy expenditure (EEE) during 10 min of cycling at 30-50 watts. Upon completion of the PRE2 assessment, subjects were supplemented for 30 days, after which they repeated the assessments for REE and EEE. All data are presented as mean (SD). RESULTS: PRE1 and PRE2 REE and EEE were not significantly different within or between groups (REE: PRE1 DC 1215 (170), WC 1127 (174); PRE2 DC 1211 (174), WC 1145 (165) kcal/d; EEE: PRE1 DC 3.67 (170), WC 3.40 (0.81); PRE2 DC 3.41 (0.88), WC 3.39 (0.73) kcal/min). Post supplementation REE was significantly increased by 3.2% in the DC group (Pre-Post change: DC 38.6 (49), WC -15 (31.2) kcal per day, p<.05). Post supplementation EEE was not significantly different between groups (Pre-Post change: DC 0.05 (0.05), WC 0.08 (0.02) kcal/min (p > .05). CONCLUSION: These results indicate that DC supplementation in postmenopausal subjects was associated with a significant 3.2% increase in REE; however, it did not significantly influence moderate intensity EEE.

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