To examine the effects of dark chocolate on blood pressure, researchers gave 44 volunteers between 55 and 75 years of age a 6.3 gram piece of dark chocolate or an equivalent portion of white chocolate for 18 weeks.
All participants had pre-hypertension or hypertension, but were not taking any medication to control the condition.
During the 18 week study period, participants maintained their usual diet and physical activity and avoided all other cocoa products.
After the study period, researchers found that participants in the dark chocolate group experienced a decline in blood pressure - while the white chocolate eaters did not. Neither group experienced weight gain from the small dose of daily chocolate.
While this isn't the first study to link dark chocolate consumption with lower blood pressure - it is the first to do so as a result of such a small quantity of chocolate. While other studies have linked 100 gram portions of dark chocolate to lower blood pressure, this latest study found 6 grams per day was enough to lower blood pressure (that's also a big difference in calories - 30 calories versus 470 calories).
These latest findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.