How does dark chocolate affect blood pressure (BP)?

Updated: Feb 22, 2019
  • Author: Matthew R Alexander, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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Answer

Emerging evidence based on small randomized controlled trials suggests that dark chocolate may lower BP via improved vascular endothelial function and increased formation of nitric oxide. A meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials that compared dark chocolate with placebo confirmed a significant mean SBP reduction of -3.2 mm Hg and DBP reduction of -2 mm Hg in hypertensive and prehypertensive subgroups. [80] However, several important questions needs to be answered before dark chocolate can be universally recommended as a lifestyle intervention.


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