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How About a Nice Cup of Cocoa?

07/17/2007 - News

How About a Nice Cup of Cocoa?

By: Robert W. Griffith, MD

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How About a Nice Cup of Cocoa?

Robert W. Griffith, MD

There have been reports in recent years that have turned the guilty pleasure of eating dark chocolate into a healthful activity (provided you count the calories, too). Now the Journal of the American Medical Association has published a report from Germany that supports the idea of a little daily chocolate intake.

The trial in question was a randomized controlled single-blind study of 44 adults aged 56 to 73 with untreated high blood pressure (prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension). The subjects were allocated to consume either 6.3 grams a day of dark chocolate (containing 30 mg of polyphenols), or a matching amount of polyphenol-free white chocolate. After 18 weeks average blood pressure reductions of 2.9 mm Hg (systolic) and 1.9 mm Hg (diastolic) were seen in the dark chocolate group, while the white chocolate produced no changes. A marker of nitric oxide in the blood - S-nitroglutathione - was increased by the dark chocolate, suggesting improved ability of the blood vessels to dilate. The nitric oxide effect is not unlike that of Viagra®, which also causes relaxation of the muscle in the blood vessels' walls. So another piece of evidence in favor of chocaholics' habit. But don't forget the calories!

Source
HealthandAge Blog

Created on: 07/17/2007
Reviewed on: 07/17/2007

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