Posted on Mar 23, 2011, 6 a.m.
Swedish researchers confirm that polyphenol compounds in cocoa help to reduce elevated blood pressure.
Previous studies have revealed potential cardiovascular benefits of cocoa consumption. and the compounds it contains. In terms of blood pressure. Ingrid A Persson, from Linkoping University (Sweden), and colleagues enrolled 16 subjects, ages 20 to 45 years, for a two-week long study during which each subject ate 75 grams of dark chocolate (72% cocoa content) daily. Results showed that the activity of the antiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) – a factor in elevated blood pressure – was significantly inhibited, with a reduction of about 18% observed between before and after the cocoa intake. As well, the team observed that the degree of ACE inhibition was dependent upon the genotype of the human subjects, with significant inhibition of ACE activity seen after 3 hours in subjects with genotype insertion/insertion and deletion/deletion (mean 21% and 28%, respectively).
Persson, Ingrid A.-L; Persson, Karin; Hägg, Staffan; Andersson, Rolf G G. “Effects of Cocoa Extract and Dark Chocolate on Angiotensin-converting Enzyme and Nitric Oxide in Human Endothelial Cells and Healthy Volunteers–A Nutrigenomics Perspective.” Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology. 57(1):44-50, January 2011.