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Rev Med Suisse. 2010 Mar 10;6(239):499-500, 502-4.

[Dark or white chocolate? Cocoa and cardiovascular health].

[Article in French]

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Cardiovascular Center, Cardiology, University Hospital, Raemistrasse 100, 8091 Zurich.


Epidemiological data show that a regular dietary intake of plant-derived foods reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Recent research indeed demonstrates interesting data about cocoa consumption, with high concentrations of polyphenols, and beneficial effects on blood pressure, insulin resistance and platelet function. Although still debated, a range of potential mechanisms through which cocoa might exert their benefits on cardiovascular health have been suggested: activation of nitric oxide, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet effects, which might in turn improve endothelial function, lipid levels, blood pressure and insulin resistance. This article reviews available data about the effects of the consumption of cocoa and different types of chocolate on cardiovascular health, and outlines potential mechanisms involved on the basis of recent studies.

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