Comsuming flavonal-rich cocoa products have repeatedly shown blood pressure benefits throughout a new research analysis.
A daily intake of 25mg of epicatechin was associated with reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure by significant amounts. Epicatechin is a type of flavonoid found in teas, wine, chocolate and some fruits and vegetables.
"To achieve a reduction in blood pressure, large amounts of chocolate or cocoa beverages, which are rich in energy and may thus favour obesity, a well-known risk factor for hypertension and for Cardio Vascular Disease, are not necessary," wrote the researchers.
"Even if the blood pressure-reducing effect by epicatechin ingestion is restricted to prehypertensive subjects, we have to be aware that these are the primary groups who may benefit from the measure for prevention of and therapy for hypertension."
Cocoa has been found to possess many health benefits including: cardiovascular health, skin health, and brain health.
A Data Update
Results have shown that the potential blood pressure lowering effects of epicatechin were linked to the dose consumed with higher doses producing greater reductions in blood pressure.
"A reduction in SBP of 2mmHg was associated with a 10% lower stroke mortality and a 7% lower mortality from ischemic heart disease and other vascular diseases in middle-age subjects," wrote the researchers.
"It may be hypothesised that a mean reduction in SBP of 4.1mmHg through intake of 2mg epicatechin after cocoa consumption."
Study: "Epicatechin ingested via cocoa products reduces blood pressure in humans: a nonlinear regression model with a Bayesian approach"