home
RSS
Dark chocolate may lower blood pressure
A study shows dark chocolate may lower blood pressure slightly.
August 16th, 2012
11:19 AM ET

Dark chocolate may lower blood pressure

Eating a little dark chocolate each day may be good for the heart, but only if you grab your running shoes in one hand and an apple in the other.

New research found that people who ate dark chocolate or cocoa for short periods of time saw a slight drop in blood pressure. But there is a caveat: If you eat these treats, you need to make sure you're doing all of the right things to stay healthy, such as exercising, eating right and - if you're on blood pressure medicine - taking that as well.

The study

Scientists in Melbourne, Australia, curious about the role of dark chocolate in heart health, looked at 20 studies in which adults ate dark chocolate or cocoa. More than 850 people participated in the trials that generally ran from two to eight weeks.

People ate different amounts of dark chocolate, ranging from a small piece to a large bar or a cup of cocoa, but almost all of the chocolate was high in cocoa - therefore high in antioxidants called flavanols. And that's important because antioxidants play a role in opening up our blood vessels, which reduces blood pressure.

Results

People who ate dark chocolate or cocoa had blood pressure readings that were 2 millimeters of mercury lower than those who ate little or no chocolate. This means that a blood pressure reading of 120/80, for example, dropped to 118/78. This is a small decrease, and scientists say that though chocolate will certainly not replace blood pressure medicines, it may play some role.

"Moderate regular dosages of flavanol-rich cocoa products such as dark chocolate may be part of a comprehensive lifestyle plan to optimizing blood pressure," explains study author Dr. Karin Ried, Research Director of the National Institute of Integrative Medicine, Melbourne, Australia.

But experts aren't sure what this means in the long run.

Chemists create chocolate with half the fat

"We do not know yet whether dark chocolate is associated with a reduction in blood pressure in the long term (important since high blood pressure is a chronic condition), and whether this will translate into a reduction in adverse clinical outcomes such as heart attack and stroke," says Dr. Lorri Puil, an editor at the Cochrane Hypertension Group.

The results are published online in the Cochrane Library, which is part of the Cochrane Collaboration that provides internationally recognized research on human health.

Take away

Chocolate is high in fat, calories and sugar so if you eat it, do so in moderation. One suggestion is to substitute dark chocolate for other high-calorie foods or desserts that you already include in your diet. But remember, if eating dark chocolate adds to your overall calories for the day, you'll likely put on weight– which is not good for overall health.

But if you do choose dark chocolate, registered dietitian Rachel K. Johnson, a spokesperson for the American Heart Association, offers this advice.

"To control the calories, opt for chocolate with a high cocoa content - look for one 70% or higher. It's intensely flavored, and thus a smaller amount may satisfy you," Johnson says. " If you use cocoa powder in cooking or to make hot chocolate, choose natural cocoa powder rather than alkalized cocoa power (also called Dutch-processed). The natural cocoa power has more of the beneficial flavanols."

But experts say we do have other choices. Apples, blackberries, beans, apricots and green tea are also packed with antioxidants and don't contain the unhealthy fats in chocolate.

Researchers know that despite the pros and cons of eating dark chocolate, that they don't have all of the answers. They do agree that more studies are needed.

A little history

The link between cocoa and blood pressure was first noticed in the indigenous people of San Blas Island in Central America, who drink flavanol-rich cocoa drinks every day and had normal blood pressure no matter their age.

Bust out the coffee and chocolate - caffeine may help prevent skin cancer


soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. network installation

    You made a few fine points there. I did a search on the issue and found the majority of persons will agree with your blog.

    https://cds-consultants.com

    February 21, 2021 at 05:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Buy Cheap Plays

    Appreciating the hard work you put into your website and in depth information you present. It's good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same out of date rehashed material. Excellent read! I've saved your site and I'm including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    https://bonuslikes.com/product-tag/500-facebook-post-likes-cheap-price/

    February 26, 2021 at 00:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. vreyro linomit

    Its such as you learn my mind! You appear to understand so much about this, like you wrote the e book in it or something. I believe that you could do with a few to power the message home a bit, however instead of that, this is magnificent blog. A great read. I will definitely be back.

    http://www.vreyrolinomit.com/

    February 26, 2021 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Facebook Fanpage Likes

    The very core of your writing whilst sounding agreeable at first, did not really work perfectly with me personally after some time. Somewhere within the paragraphs you managed to make me a believer but just for a very short while. I still have a problem with your leaps in assumptions and one might do well to help fill in those gaps. When you actually can accomplish that, I could undoubtedly be amazed.

    https://BonusLikes.com/

    February 27, 2021 at 07:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. KndnMile

    mixing cialis and viagra viagra prescription real viagra for sale

    March 1, 2021 at 00:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. ClarkTauts

    hhlh2 o1v2g 34xi

    March 1, 2021 at 12:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. NbmoZisse

    cialis with dapoxetine from canada buy cialis pils on uk cialis professionals

    March 2, 2021 at 21:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Ken Nozum

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday. It’s always interesting to read through content from other writers and practice a little something from other websites.

    http://bit.ly/Okinawa-weight-loss-tonic-2021

    March 4, 2021 at 02:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. jarge Playmn

    Share this article please! It's very interesting: https://dro4ka.net

    March 10, 2021 at 06:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. FbshEncox

    https://thesisacloud.com/ – thesis guidelines doctoral thesis writing online thesis writing master thesis writing service

    March 22, 2021 at 23:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. JvqqEncox

    https://dissertationahelp.com/ – dissertation abstracts online doctoral dissertation writing a dissertation proposal phd no dissertation

    March 23, 2021 at 00:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. JvbdCrulk

    https://essaywritera.com/ – top essay writing services essay writting service what is the best college essay editing service essays about service

    March 23, 2021 at 20:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. LmoppEncox

    http://essaywriteris.com/ – good essay writers cheap essay write my history essay for me can someone write my essay

    March 23, 2021 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. AbgcEncox

    https://thesiswritingtob.com/ – thesis printing thesis to book help thesis free thesis help

    March 24, 2021 at 07:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. GrvCrulk

    https://kloviagrli.com/ – chewable viagra https://vigedon.com/ – real viagra for sale https://llecialisjaw.com/ – when will generic cialis be available in the us https://jwcialislrt.com/ – cialis strength https://jecialisbn.com/ – how to take cialis 5mg

    March 24, 2021 at 21:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. FbshEncox

    https://thesisacloud.com/ – writing the thesis good thesis statements best thesis editing services thesis statistics

    March 25, 2021 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Pricilla Farfalla

    When you brew green tea, excessive heat or over-steeping will result in a bitter, tannin-rich tea. An instant digital probe thermometer and a simple kitchen timer are valuable tools when you’re brewing tea!

    http://bestproducts-4u.com/tag/best-green-tea-brand/

    March 27, 2021 at 01:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. AbgcEncox

    https://thesiswritingtob.com/ – thesis only phd thesis template how to write thesis thesis writing uk

    March 27, 2021 at 02:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. BrfgMile

    https://ljcialishe.com/ – cialis sublingual https://cialisvja.com/ – generic cialis online canada https://viagraonlinejc.com/ – how long for viagra to kick in https://viagratx.com/ – better than viagra https://buycialisxz.com/ – where to buy cialis

    March 27, 2021 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. 풀팟포커

    583958 35911Im glad to become a visitor in this pure web site, regards for this rare information! 910581

    March 29, 2021 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Billygem

    where can i get zithromax over the counter: zithromax purchase online zithromax order online uk
    https://zithromaxproff.com/# purchase zithromax z-pak

    March 30, 2021 at 06:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Len Zumot

    I used to be able to find good advice from your content.

    https://extraproxies.com/tag/gameset/

    March 30, 2021 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. AbgcEncox

    https://thesiswritingtob.com/ – thesis writing services uk education thesis thesis writing thesis chapters

    April 1, 2021 at 07:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. FbshEncox

    https://thesisacloud.com/ – thesisacloud.com thesis writing online thesisacloud.com thesis abstracts online

    April 7, 2021 at 16:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Daphne Cormican

    We can go on and on about the benefits of drinking green tea, but here are just a few: research shows that green tea can create a stimulating effect to help keep us energized and focused, without the jittery side effects of coffee or espresso.

    https://bestproductlab.com/best-green-tea-brands/

    April 8, 2021 at 10:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. AbgcEncox

    https://thesiswritingtob.com/ – thesiswritingtob.com phd by thesis only thesiswritingtob.com college thesis

    April 9, 2021 at 00:34 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.