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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Dark Chocolate May Lower Blood Pressure

Good news for chocolate lovers: a small German study reports that a daily nibble of dark chocolate containing 50% or more cocoa may modestly lower your blood pressure without causing weight gain or raising cholesterol or glucose levels.

The study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association monitored participants who ate a 6 gram square of dark chocolate each day for 18 weeks. Dark chocolate is a good source of flavonoids – the antioxidant that is believed to improve the function of blood vessels.

At the end of the study the dark chocolate eaters saw a drop in their top (systolic) blood pressure number of 3 millimeters and the bottom (diastolic) number drop 2mm. The control group eating an equal amount of white chocolate saw no reduction in blood pressure.

Mayo clinic doctors praise the growing body of research identifying the health benefits of chocolate. However they say that it’s still too early to recommend eating chocolate for controlling hypertension.

Source: Mayo Clinic Health Letter: November 2007

Learn more: Chocolate After Weight Loss Surgery