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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2010 Sep 1;501(1):112-5. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Jun 1.

Blood pressure and cardiovascular risk: what about cocoa and chocolate?

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Department of Internal Medicine and Public Health, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy.


Cocoa flavonoids are able to reduce cardiovascular risk by improving endothelial function and decreasing blood pressure (BP). Interest in the biological activities of cocoa is daily increasing. A recent meta-analysis shows flavanol-rich cocoa administration decreases mean systolic (-4.5mm Hg; p<0.001) and diastolic (-2.5mm Hg; p<0.001) BP. A 3-mm Hg systolic BP reduction has been estimated to decrease the risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. This paper summarizes new findings concerning cocoa effects on cardiovascular health focusing on putative mechanisms of action and nutritional and "pharmacological" viewpoints. Cocoa consumption could play a pivotal role in human health.

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