The researchers found a statistically significant blood pressure-reducing effect from flavanol-rich cocoa products, as compared with the control group.
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Boston, MA (PRWEB) October 16, 2012
The Doctors Health Press, a publisher of various natural health newsletters, books, and reports, including the popular online Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin, is reporting on a recent study that suggests cocoa, a main ingredient in dark chocolate, may reduce blood pressure.
As reported in Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin (http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/heart-health-articles/the-dessert-that-could-lower-your-blood-pressure), cocoa contains the antioxidant flavanol. Flavanols have been shown to increase the formation of endothelial nitric oxide. Critical to the health of the cardiovascular system, nitric oxide plays a direct role in vasoconstriction and vasodilation, which are processes that help regulate blood pressure.
As noted in the article “The Dessert That Could Lower Your Blood Pressure,” while previous studies have shown that cocoa-rich foods may reduce blood pressure, other trials have had conflicting results. Researchers at the National Institute of Integrative Medicine in Melbourne, Australia, decided to correlate existing data for a conclusive answer.
The article explains that, after conducting an exhaustive search of all the major medical databases, researchers found 20 studies that met their inclusion criteria. After analyzing the 20 studies involving 856 mainly healthy participants, the researchers found a statistically significant blood pressure-reducing effect from flavanol-rich cocoa products, as compared with the control group.
Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin also notes that, according to the researchers, flavanol-rich chocolate and cocoa products were found to have a small but statistically significant effect in lowering blood pressure in trials lasting two weeks. The researchers suggest that more trials investigating the effect of cocoa products are needed to determine whether or not blood pressure is reduced on a long-term basis by daily ingestion of cocoa.
However, the article cautions that the research conclusions do not mean that just anyone can delve into cocoa-rich dark chocolate to help lower blood pressure. A small percentage of the population can have negative reactions to chocolate due to allergies or the naturally occurring caffeine in chocolate.
(SOURCE: Ried K et al., “Effect of cocoa on blood pressure,” Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 August 15; 8: CD008893.)
Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin is a daily e-letter providing natural health news with a focus on natural healing through foods, herbs and other breakthrough health alternative treatments. For more information on Doctors Health Press, visit http://www.doctorshealthpress.com.
Doctors Health Press believes in the healing properties of various alternative remedies, including Traditional Chinese Medicine. To see a video outlining Doctors Health Press' views on Traditional Chinese Medicine, visit http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/chinesemedicine.