Sunday, April 15, 2007

Round 2: Cocoa Kicks Tea's Butt

Yes, another study is out and cocoa is the clear winner over tea as far as lowering blood pressure is concerned. In a study recently released in the Archives of Internal Medicine (see the free PubMed Abstract), the polyphenols (the group composed of phenols and the more abundant and popularly known flavonoids) in cocoa products (such as dark chocolate) produced significant reductions in both diastolic blood pressure (-4.7 mmHg) and systolic blood pressure (-2.8 mmHg) as compared to tea (both black and green).

The study made some rather dubious claims that the drop in blood pressure was comparable to monotherapy with either beta-blockers or ACE inhibitors but my limited experience (I don't have high blood pressure) suggests that is a bit of a stretch (i.e. most people I know have significantly greater drops on prescription drugs). But, hey, it's nice to know a little cocoa goes a long way. The authors were also quick to point out that this only works if the cocoa calories ingested did not exceed a healthy total caloric intake. Sorry, you cannot pig out and then eat chocolate to get healthy. If you take a cocoa supplement you must cut back an equal number of calories elsewhere!

Bon Appetit!



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