March 28, 2005
Dark Chocolate Aids Blood Pressure
Theflavanols contained in dark chocolate appear linked to insulin sensitivity andblood pressure regulation, according to Italian researchers. In a studypublished in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition(81, 3:611-4, 2005) (www.ajcn.org), researchers gave15 healthy subjects either 100 g/d of dark chocolate containing approximately500 mg polyphenols, or 90 g/d of white chocolate with no polyphenols. Insulinresistance was significantly lower and insulin sensitivity significantly higherafter ingestion of dark chocolate compared to white chocolate. In addition, darkchocolate ingestion was associated with a lowered systolic blood pressurereading. The researchers concluded dark chocolate could decrease blood pressureand improve insulin sensitivity in healthy adults.
An additional study in AJCN (81,3:578-82, 2005) examined the impact of daily consumption of caffeine from cocoa,chocolate, tea, coffee or cola on arterial fibrillation. Data from 47,949participants in the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health Study was reviewed for anassociation between caffeine consumption and heart flutter; the researchersfound no increased risk with greater caffeine ingestion.
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