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The evidence supporting the antihypertensive effects of cocoa has been building over the last few years, and a January 2010 systematic review and meta-analysis of 10 randomized controlled trials, comprising 297 individuals confirms the BP-lowering capacity of flavanol-rich cocoa products.  The high level of flavanols found in the cocoa plant is believed to be responsible for the lowering of blood pressure.
Another study, published this month (March 2010) compared a lower (6g/day) with higher dose (25g/day) of dark chocolate, and the results suggest that, although chocolate may lower blood pressure, there was no added benefit to taking higher doses. The 25g per day group experienced slight increases in body weight with no additional improvements in BP.  (more…)