Cocoa linked with lower blood pressure

March 1, 2006 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Cocoa linked with lower blood pressure

In the largest study if it’s kind, Dutch researchers have found that older men who consumed cocoa products every day, equivalent to one-third of a chocolate bar, had lower blood pressure and reduced risk of death.

Researchers from the Wageningen University in The Netherlands examined the eating habits of nearly 500 men who were not taking any blood pressure medication. The group of men who ate the most cocoa products, including cocoa drinks, chocolate bars and chocolate pudding, an equivalent of about 10 grams of chocolate per day, experienced lower blood pressure and a 50 percent lower risk of death.

While researchers speculate the flavanols in cocoa beans may be responsible for the benefits, they do suggest that it is too early to conclude that chocolate was the leading cause of better health in the study. The men who ate the most cocoa could have shared other qualities that made them healthier. Eating too much chocolate can also have negative health implications due to its fat content.

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