chocolate

Chocolate lowers blood pressure and slashes risk of heart disease

Tuesday, April 06, 2010 by: S. L. Baker, features writer
Tags: chocolate, blood pressure, health news

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
BACK INTO THE CLOSET: Why U.S. reporters are not allowed to write about rainbow events in nations where being gay is still condemned
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
INVESTIGATION: Three days before Dr. Bradstreet was found dead in a river, U.S. govt. agents raided his research facility to seize a breakthrough cancer treatment called GcMAF
A family destroyed: Six-month-old dies after clinic injects baby with 13 vaccines at once without mother's informed consent
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
BOMBSHELL: China and America already at war: Tianjin explosion carried out by Pentagon space weapon in retaliation for Yuan currency devaluation... Military helicopters now patrolling Beijing
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
ECONOMIC SLAVERY FOR ALL: While we were distracted with the Confederate flag flap, Congress quietly forfeited our entire economic future via fast-track trade authority
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision may have just legalized the concealed carry of loaded firearms across all 50 states, nullifying gun laws everywhere
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Nearly every mass shooting in the last 20 years shares one surprising thing? and it's not guns
Holistic cancer treatment pioneer Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez dies suddenly; patients mourn the loss of a compassionate, innovative doctor who helped thousands heal from cancer
Inuit Elders tell NASA Earth Axis Shifted
Wild eyes and bowl cuts: Why do mass shooters always share the same hair styles and crazed zombie stares?
Genetically white woman now claims self-identify as black: If you can choose your gender, can you also choose your race? What about your species? Can a human claim to be a llama?
Delicious
(NaturalNews) As NaturalNews reported previously, Canadian scientists have found that consuming chocolate regularly significantly reduces the odds of having a stroke (http://www.naturalnews.com/028278_chocolate_...). Now other researchers have just published a study in the European Heart Journal providing even more evidence that chocolate -- especially the dark variety -- benefits the cardiovascular system. In fact, eating just one small square of chocolate a day can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease.

Researchers at the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Nuthetal, Germany, reached this conclusion after following 19,357 people between the ages of 35 and 65 for at least ten years and studying the research participants' chocolate consumption. The results? Research subjects who ate the most chocolate (on average, about 7.5 grams a day) had lower blood pressure. What's more, the risk of chocolate lovers having a heart attack or stroke was dramatically lowered, too.

"People who ate the most amount of chocolate were at a 39% lower risk than those with the lowest chocolate intakes," Dr Brian Buijsse, the nutritional epidemiologist who led the research, said in a press statement. "To put it in terms of absolute risk, if people in the group eating the least amount of chocolate (of whom 219 per 10,000 had a heart attack or stroke) increased their chocolate intake by six grams a day, 85 fewer heart attacks and strokes per 10,000 people could be expected to occur over a period of about ten years."

So what is it about chocolate that has such as profound impact on cardiovascular health? At first glance, chocolate's documented ability to lower blood pressure would appear to be the key. And, in fact, the scientists found lowered blood pressure due to chocolate consumption at the start of the study did explain for about 12% of the reduced risk of heart attacks and strokes. But they think something else is going on in the bodies of regular chocolate eaters, too, that accounts for the enormous drop in their heart attack risk.

One possibility, the researchers noted, is that phytochemicals known as flavanols that are abundant in cocoa (the main ingredient in chocolate) somehow protect the cardiovascular system. Because dark chocolate contains more cocoa -- and, therefore, more flavanols -- that would explain why dark chocolate has more health benefits than other varieties of chocolate.

"Flavanols appear to be the substances in cocoa that are responsible for improving the bioavailability of nitric oxide from the cells that line the inner wall of blood vessels -- vascular endothelial cells," Dr Buijsse explained. "Nitric oxide is a gas that, once released, causes the smooth muscle cells of the blood vessels to relax and widen; this may contribute to lower blood pressure. Nitric oxide also improves platelet function, making the blood less sticky, and makes the vascular endothelium less attractive for white blood cells to attach and stick around."

Does this mean it's a good idea to grab a chocolate flavored candy bar and scarf it down every day? Not at all. Commercial candy is made with refined sugar, often contains artificial flavorings and other non-healthy ingredients, and is loaded with calories. Instead, consider adding small amounts of plain dark chocolate to your daily diet.

"Basic science has demonstrated quite convincingly that dark chocolate particularly, with a cocoa content of at least 70%, reduces oxidative stress and improves vascular and platelet function. However, before you rush to add dark chocolate to your diet, be aware that 100g of dark chocolate contains roughly 500 calories. As such, you may want to subtract an equivalent amount of calories, by cutting back on other foods, to avoid weight gain," noted Frank Ruschitzka, Professor of Cardiology and Director of Heart Failure/Transplantation at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, in a statement to the media.

For more information:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20354055
http://www.naturalnews.com/chocolate.html

Follow real-time breaking news headlines on
Chocolate at FETCH.news
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.