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2011-09-09

Dark Chocolate for Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Health

More studies on chocolate just keep rolling in. Today I have, not one, but two new studies to share with you on this delectable food.

First, a systematic review and meta-analysis of one cross-sectional and six cohort studies (totaling 114,009 subjects) were analyzed, and it was concluded that higher chocolate consumption was found to be associated with a reduced risk of cardiometabolic disorders. Specifically, the highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and a 29% reduced risk of stroke (compared to the lowest chocolate consumption).

The authors conclude, "Based on observational evidence, levels of chocolate consumption seem to be associated with a substantial reduction in the risk of cardiometabolic disorders."

Source: Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis

This next study confirms the results of a study I discussed a few months ago, where dark chocolate consumption was shown to lower blood pressure. This newer study involved 14,310 adults from various regions of Jordan, and found higher that intake of dark chocolate was associated with lower blood pressure (without any particular effects on heart rate). Subjects were divided into 3 categories according to dark chocolate intake: 1) mild (1-2 bars/wk); 2) moderate (3-4 bars/wk); and 3) high (more than 4 bars/wk), and results showed that higher intakes of dark chocolate were associated with lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, regardless of age or family history of hypertension.

Source: Dark Chocolate and Blood Pressure: A Novel Study from Jordan

Again, we're talking real chocolate here...the dark stuff. Not milk chocolate, or even worse, "candy bars" (like the ones you find at convenience stores).

Have a happy and healthy weekend!


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