Dark Chocolate's Effects on Insulin and Blood Pressure
Researchers at Tufts University and the University of L'Aquila in Italy have just published their results of a study on the effects of chocolate. They claim that the flavonoids found in chocolate can help improve blood vessel function and perhaps reduce the risk of heart disease. Patients, with never before treated with essential hypertension (EH), were split into two study groups. One group ate 100 grams of specially formulated, flavonoid-rich dark chocolate daily. The other half ate the same amount of white chocolate which served as the control because it has no flavonoids, but all of the other ingredients and calories found in dark chocolate. The group members that ate dark chocolate, had an average 12 mm Hg decrease in systolic and 9 mm Hg decrease in diastolic blood pressure. Members of the white chocolate group showed no blood pressure changes. The study also included oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs) to test insulin resistance, results showed that the dark chocolate consumers had improved insulin resistance levels. Researchers suggest that dark chocolate as a supplement may help people suffering with hypertension lower their blood pressure levels. They do caution however that chocolate isn't the perfect answer because it is high in fat, sugar and calories. For more information on chocolate please visit Natural Standard's Herbs & Supplements database.
1.Grassi D, Necozione S, Lippi C, Croce G, Valeri L, Pasqualetti P, Desideri G, Blumberg JB, Ferri C. Cocoa Reduces Blood Pressure and Insulin Resistance and Improves Endothelium-Dependent Vasodilation in Hypertensives. Hypertension. 2005 Jul 18. View Abstract.