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Cocoa Flavanol Lowers Blood Pressure

Posted Jun 12 2012 10:11pm
Posted on June 11, 2012, 6 a.m. in Cardio-Vascular | Functional Foods & Food Components | Nutrition |
Cocoa Flavanol Lowers Blood Pressure

New research has confirmed that eating just a small amount of flavanol-rich cocoa products is enough to significantly reduce blood pressure. Sabine Ellinger, of the University of Bonn in Germany and colleagues, investigated the effect of the monomeric flavanol epicatechin on blood pressure using data from four meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials. Their results showed that the potential of epicatechin to lower blood pressure was dose-dependent, with larger doses leading to greater reductions. Consuming 25 mg epicatechin per day led to a mean reduction of -4.1 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure and of -2.0 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure. According to the researchers, such a reduction in systolic blood pressure is associated with a 10% lower stroke mortality and a 7% lower mortality from ischemic heart disease and other vascular diseases in middle-aged people. However, the researchers stress that it is not necessary to consume large amounts of chocolate or cocoa-based beverages in order to reduce blood pressure. Eating just 50g of dark chocolate should be enough to provide 25 mg epicatechin. Epicatechin is also found in green and black tea.

Sabine Ellinger, Andreas Reusch, Peter Stehle, Hans-Peter Helfrich. "Epicatechin ingested via cocoa products reduces blood pressure in humans: a nonlinear regression model with a Bayesian approach." Am J Clin Nutr. Published ahead of print May 2, 2012. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.029330

  
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Not only does maintaining your teeth in good condition lend a good looking smile, doing so may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease:
Brush Your Teeth: University College London (United Kingdom) researchers analyzed data collected on 11,869 men and women, mean age 50 years, enrolled in the Scottish Health Survey. Over the eight-year long study period, the subjects self-reported their frequency of daily toothbrushing, while the researchers assessed hospital records to estimate the risk of cardiovascular disease events or death according to oral hygiene...
 
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