A small, tantalizing new study shows that dark chocolate may help reduce hypertension.
The November issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter highlights a recent German study that found eating a small amount of dark chocolate every day reduces the top (systolic) blood pressure number by almost 3 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and the bottom (diastolic) blood pressure number by about 2 mm Hg.
Dark chocolate is a good source of flavonoids - an antioxidant that’s thought to improve the function of blood vessels.
The study, published in the July 4, 2007, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, included 44 adults with high blood pressure. Participants were assigned to eat 6 grams (30 calories) of either dark or white chocolate every day for 18 weeks. The white chocolate group saw no change in blood pressure.
While the study adds to the growing body of knowledge on chocolate and potential health benefits, Mayo Clinic doctors say there’s not enough evidence to recommend eating dark chocolate as a treatment for hypertension.
Mayo Clinic Health Letter is an eight-page monthly newsletter of reliable, accurate and practical information on today’s health and medical news.
Source: Mayo Clinic