Dark Chocolate May Help To Reduce Blood Pressure

Flavanols are a compound found in cocoa that may help reduce blood pressure, according to new research. The study, which reviewed the results of short-term trials in which participants were given cocoa powder or dark chocolate daily for up to 18 weeks, found a slight reduction in blood pressure among the group consuming chocolate as compared to a control group. The researchers theorize that, because nitric oxide causes blood-vessel walls to relax and flavanols are responsible for the formation of nitric oxide, foods that are rich in flavanols could have a positive effect on blood pressure. Karin Ried, lead researcher, said the evidence indicates that, over the short term, chocolate may complement other treatments and contribute to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Because flavanol concentration varies depending on production and processing procedures, however, researchers are unable to determine the optimal amount of chocolate needed to produce an effect. More here.

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