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Dark Chocolate lowers Blood Pressure

July 19th 2005

Dark Chocolate lowers blood pressure Study shows

Dark Chocolate

Researchers compared individuals that ate dark chocolate with those that did not over a two week period.  All the participants had untreated high blood pressure.  Those that ate the dark chocolate had a “clinically meaningful decline” in pressure. 

The research is published in this month’s American Heart Association journal Hypertension (July 18th). They were most interested in the Flavonoid component of dark chocolate. 

Half of the study subjects were given a 3 ½ ounce bar of dark chocolate per day.  The other half of the 20 participants were given white chocolate.  The white chocolate lacks flavinoids, but contains the other components including fat, sugar and calories. 

After 15 days the groups switch, and the first half got the white chocolate and the second group got the dark.  This chocolate is different from most chocolates found at the local store.  The research chocolate had a bitter sweet taste.

They concluded that the dark chocolate lowered the systolic pressure (top number) by 12 points ( 12 mm HG) and lowered the diastolic pressure by 9 points.  The blood pressure did not change when the volunteers ate white chocolate.  The study’s author, Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg at the Tufts University in Boston said, "This is the kind of reduction in blood pressure often found with other healthful dietary interventions."

For an added benefit, eating dark chocolate also boosted the normal response to insulin and kept blood sugar levels down.  Dark chocolate also lowered the LDL (bad) cholesterol. The antioxidant Flavinoids can also be found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. 

Neither milk-chocolate nor white-chocolate offer the benefits. More research is needed to determine dosage.  The researchers warn that patients should not replace their current therapy with dark chocolate. 

By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer




Keywords and misspellings:  Heart disease attack stroke hart presure

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:40 PM