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How Much Dark Chocolate Should You Eat To Lower Blood Pressure? Scientists Have Determined An Appropriate Dosage

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How Much Dark Chocolate Should You Eat To Lower Blood Pressure?  Scientists Have Determined An Appropriate Dosage

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(Best Syndication) Researchers have determined how much dark chocolate needs to be consumed in order to lower blood pressure and not gain weight. Previous research has shown that eating high amounts of foods containing cocoa can lower blood pressure (BP), but the proper dosage was not determined.

Only 30 calories of dark chocolate per day is needed to see a blood pressure lowering benefit. This will not contribute to weight gain, according to Dirk Taubert, M.D., Ph.D., of University Hospital of Cologne, Germany. “Although the magnitude of the BP reduction was small, the effects are clinically noteworthy.”

Extend the lower blood pressure benefits over a larger population and lives might be saved. “On a population basis, it has been estimated that a 3-mm Hg reduction in systolic BP would reduce the relative risk of stroke mortality by 8 percent, of coronary artery disease mortality by 5 percent, and of all-cause mortality by 4 percent,” the authors wrote.

The researchers found that from baseline to 18 weeks, dark chocolate intake reduced average systolic BP by −2.9 (1.6) mm Hg and diastolic BP by −1.9 (1.0) mm Hg without changes in body weight, plasma levels of lipids or glucose. Hypertension prevalence declined from 86 percent to 68 percent. See what others are saying and join the discussion at our Forum

Dark chocolate is the only chocolate that appears to lower blood pressure. Systolic and diastolic Blood pressure remained unchanged throughout the treatment period among those in the white chocolate group. Dark chocolate consumption resulted in the short-term appearance of cocoa phenols in plasma and increased vasodilatory S-nitrosoglutathione. There was no change in plasma biomarkers in the white chocolate group.

“The most intriguing finding of this study is that small amounts of commercial cocoa confectionary convey a similar BP-lowering potential compared with comprehensive dietary modifications that have proven efficacy to reduce cardiovascular event rate. Whereas long-term adherence to complex behavioral changes is often low and requires continuous counseling, adoption of small amounts of flavanol-rich cocoa into the habitual diet is a dietary modification that is easy to adhere to and therefore may be a promising behavioral approach to lower blood pressure in individuals with above-optimal blood pressure. Future studies should evaluate the effects of dark chocolate in other populations and evaluate long-term outcomes,” the authors conclude.

The research appears in the July 4th Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). See what others are saying and join the discussion at our Forum

By Marsha Quinn
Best Syndication News Health Writer

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