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Nutr J. 2015 Aug 22;14:84. doi: 10.1186/s12937-015-0075-3.

Dark chocolate and reduced snack consumption in mildly hypertensive adults: an intervention study.

Author information

1
Nutrition, Department of Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. BOX 66, FI-00014, Helsinki, Finland. raika.koli@helsinki.fi.
2
Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Biomedicum Helsinki, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 20, FI-00014, Helsinki, Finland. klaus.kohler@helsinki.fi.
3
Nutrition, Department of Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. BOX 66, FI-00014, Helsinki, Finland. elina.tonteri@helsinki.fi.
4
Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Biomedicum Helsinki, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 20, FI-00014, Helsinki, Finland. juha.peltonen@helsinki.fi.
5
Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Biomedicum Helsinki, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 20, FI-00014, Helsinki, Finland. heikki.tikkanen@helsinki.fi.
6
Institute of Biomedicine, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Campus, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211, Kuopio, Finland. heikki.tikkanen@helsinki.fi.
7
Nutrition, Department of Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. BOX 66, FI-00014, Helsinki, Finland. mikael.fogelholm@helsinki.fi.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Several studies have shown that cocoa and cocoa-containing foods have the potential to lower blood pressure and improve endothelial function. Most of the studies reporting the beneficial effects of dark chocolate on blood pressure have been short (≤ 4 weeks). The aim of the present 8-wks (weeks) study was to assess the effects of regular consumption of dark chocolate during a reduced snack consumption intervention on blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors in mildly hypertensive individuals.

DESIGN:

This was a randomized, controlled, cross-over trial involving 22 adults (8 women, 14 men), aged 33-64 y, BMI 27.7 ± 3.7 kg/m(2) with mild hypertension. During the intervention period (8-wks) the participants reduced the intake of habitual snacks and replaced them with dark chocolate (49 g/day). In the control period, they only reduced the snacks without any added chocolate. Data (blood lipid profile, glucose, insulin, 24 h blood pressure) was collected in the beginning and end of both periods (intervention and control), and some variables also in the run-in and run-out periods (weight, body fat percentage, blood pressure, arterial stiffness index, diet and physical activity).

RESULTS:

Daily consumption of dark chocolate had no effects on 24 h blood pressure, resting blood pressure (mean ± SD, pre 142 ± 11.5/89 ± 8.4 mmHg vs. post 142 ± 14.2/88 ± 9.4 mmHg in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respectively) or arterial stiffness (mean ± SD, pre 7.68 ± 0.88 vs. post 7.76 ± 0.89). Weight was reduced by 1.0 ± 2.2 kg during the control (reduced snack only) period, but was unchanged while eating chocolate (p < 0.027 between the treatments).

CONCLUSION:

The data collected in this study indicates that inclusion of dark chocolate daily in the diet had no significant effects on blood pressure or other cardiovascular risk factors during a reduced snack period.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT02130141.

PMID:
26296850
PMCID:
PMC4546094
DOI:
10.1186/s12937-015-0075-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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