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The Health Benefits of Chocolate - Cardiac Support

Chocolate consumption is associated with favorable levels of blood pressure and other
cardiovascular disease risk markers. Researchers from University of Iowa College of
Public Health found that regular chocolate intake during pregnancy is associated with
reduced risks of preeclampsia and gestational hypertension. [2]

Ried K at University of Adelaide, Australia, reported that dark chocolate is superior to
placebo in reducing systolic hypertension or diastolic prehypertension. Flavanol-rich
chocolate did not significantly reduce mean blood pressure below 140 mmHg systolic
or 80 mmHg diastolic. [3]

Cocoa flavonoids are able to reduce cardiovascular risk by improving endothelial
function and decreasing blood pressure. Interest in the biological activities of cocoa is
daily increasing. A recent meta-analysis shows flavanol-rich cocoa administration
decreases mean systolic (-4.5mm Hg; p<0.001) and diastolic (-2.5mm Hg; p<0.001)
blood pressure. A 3-mm Hg systolic BP reduction has been estimated to decrease the
risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. [4]

Is chocolate a pain-killer?

The heat from a light-bulb normally cause rodents to lift their paws, researchers found
that when the rats ate chocolate or drank water, their pain response to the heat was
dulled and they did not lift their paws as quickly as when they were not eating. They
kept on eating. [1]

[1] Chocolate, water blunt pain: study AFP Tue Oct 13, 2:08 PM PDT
[2] Saftlas AF, Triche EW, Beydoun H, Bracken MB.Does chocolate intake during
pregnancy reduce the risks of preeclampsia and gestational hypertension? Ann
Epidemiol. 2010 Aug;20(8):584-91.
[3] Ried K, Sullivan T, Fakler P, Frank OR, Stocks NP. Does chocolate reduce blood
pressure? A meta-analysis. BMC Med. 2010 Jun 28;8:39.
[4] Grassi D, Desideri G, Ferri C. Blood pressure and cardiovascular risk: what about
cocoa and chocolate? Arch Biochem Biophys. 2010 Sep 1;501(1):112-5. Epub 2010
Jun 1.
Chocolate Health Benefits