Dark Chocolate May Help Lower Blood Pressure, National Institute of Integrative Medicine Study

Published: Aug 17, 2012

Need an excuse to treat yourself to dessert? A daily dose of chocolate or cocoa powder could help lower blood pressure, say the authors of a new systematic review by the Cochrane Library. The review of 20 previous studies found that people who were given dark chocolate or cocoa powder daily showed a slight drop in blood pressure, compared with control groups. The studies were all short term — mostly lasting two to eight weeks — so it’s not clear how long the blood pressure benefits would last, but the “small reduction we saw over the short term might complement other treatment options and might contribute to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said lead researcher Dr. Karin Ried of the National Institute of Integrative Medicine in Melbourne, Australia, in a statement.

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