Cocoa can reduce blood pressure, arterial stiffness

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Scientists from the University of Surrey and elsewhere found that cocoa can reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness in normal aging.

Flavanols are bioactive compounds found naturally in many plants, including tea, apples, various berries, and cocoa beans.

Cocoa flavanols include specific compounds called epicatechin and catechin, as well as chains of flavanols called procyanidins.

Cocoa powder improves cholesterol and blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of heart disease.

Cocoa powder is rich in theobromine, which helps to reduce inflammation and can protect you from diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Previous clinical studies have found that cocoa flavanols can decrease blood pressure and arterial stiffness in healthy people.

But the effects have been quite inconsistent across different studies.

In this study, the team examined the health effect of cocoa flavanols intake in everyday life in 11 healthy adults with normal blood pressure.

Each volunteer consumed cocoa flavanols capsules and matched placebo capsules. On each day, the capsules were taken at the same time in the morning with breakfast.

Each person was provided with an upper arm blood pressure monitor and a finger clip that measures pulse wave velocity.

The researchers measure their blood pressure, heart rate, and pulse wave velocity at least hourly over 12 h during the day.

They found the results confirmed that cocoa can decrease blood pressure and arterial stiffness in everyday life when elevated within the normal range.

The large variation between participants in responses to cocoa calls for more personalized nutritional interventions.

The research was published in Frontiers in Nutrition and conducted by Mariam Bapir et al.

If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies that drinking tea could help lower blood pressure, and herbal supplements could help reduce high blood pressure

For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies about added sugar in your diet linked to higher blood pressure, and results showing vitamin D could improve blood pressure in people with diabetes.

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