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Cocoa Proves Itself, Yet Again
 
Published Wednesday, August 6, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Ingesting both solid dark chocolate and liquid cocoa may improve endothelial function and lower blood pressure in overweight adults, according to a recent randomized single blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial at Yale University of Medicine (Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;88(1):58-63).  Healthy adults with a mean age of 53 years (n=45) and a mean body mass index (BMI) of 30 were randomly assigned to consume a solid dark chocolate bar (containing 22 g of cocoa powder) or a cocoa-free placebo bar (containing 0 g of cocoa powder) in phase 1. In phase 2, subjects were randomly assigned to consume sugar-free cocoa (containing 22 g of cocoa powder), sugared cocoa (containing 22 g of cocoa powder), or a placebo (containing 0 g of cocoapowder). The solid dark chocolate and liquid cocoa ingestion improved endothelial function compared with placebo (dark chocolate P<0.001; sugar-free and sugared cocoa P<0.001). Blood pressure decreased after the ingestion of dark chocolate and sugar-free cocoa compared with the placebo.  Endothelial function improved significantly more with sugar-free than with regular cocoa (P<0.001). Sugar content may attenuate the effects on improved endothelial function and lowered blood pressure, and sugar-free preparations may augment them.



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