Archive for July 30th, 2007

Dark Chocolate for Hypertension? Anyone?

July 30, 2007

22173473171.jpgWe have long heard about the good news of enjoying dark chocolates.  The mere thought of eating one makes your tummy growl for food! Just recently while browsing my JAMA journal noted another study on dark chocolate which is really good news to chocolate lovers.

The July 4, 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reported a new study to show the benefits of cocoa in dark chocolate long-term — the study lasted 18 weeks.  

This study is a well conducted study being a randomized, controlled, investigator-blinded, parallel-group trial with 44 adults, aged 56 to 73, with untreated mildhypertension without concomitant risk factors.  This study is well matched and the two groups compared were given either a one square (6.3 g) of a commercial brand of dark chocolate per day, constituting just 30 kcal, or white chocolate which is  polyphenol-free to enjoy for 18 weeks.

Results Are Amazingly GOOD NEWS:

From baseline to 18 weeks, dark-chocolate intake reduced mean systolic BP by 2.9 mm Hg (p<0.001) and diastolic BP by 1.9 mm Hg (p<0.001) without changes in body weight, lipids, glucose, or 8-isoprostane. Hypertension prevalence decreased from 86% to 68%.  There was  a sustained increase of S-nitrosoglutathione by 0.23 nmol/L (p<0.001) and the appearance of cocoa phenols in the plasma among the dark chocolate eaters.

Te reseacrchers explain the phenomonon: “The apparent mechanisms by which dark chocolate lowered BP suggests a chronic increase in the production of nitric oxide in the vascular endothelium… and it is likely that cocoa flavanols in dark chocolate were responsible for the observed effects on S-nitrosoglutathione and BP.”

BUT before everyone indulges on dark chocolates… it is important to remember that it should be DARK and not Milk or White chocolates…likewise keep in mind the AMOUNT because remember the CALORIES! The one square of dark choco can give you around 30 kcal per day.

A Chocolate A Day Keeps Your Doctor Away!