Dark chocolate ‘may lower blood pressure’

Dark chocolate

There may be good news for people looking for an excuse to munch on a couple of squares of chocolate after a review showed the treat could reduce blood pressure.

An analysis of 20 studies showed that eating dark chocolate daily resulted in a slight reduction in blood pressure.

The Cochrane Group’s report said chemicals in cocoa, chocolate’s key ingredient, relaxed blood vessels.

However, there are healthier ways of lowering blood pressure.

The theory is that cocoa contains flavanols which produce a chemical in the body called nitric oxide. This ‘relaxes’ blood vessels making it easier for blood to pass through them, lowering the blood pressure.

However, studies have thrown up mixed results. The Cochrane analysis combined previous studies to see if there was really an effect.

source : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19241924

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