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Blood Pressure Tackled Better With Cocoa Than Tea

e was an average of 4.7 millimeters of mercury lower and diastolic blood pressure was an average of 2.8 millimeters of mercury lower.

The effects are comparable to those achieved with blood pressure-lowering medications, the authors note. 'At the population level, a reduction of 4 to 5 millimeters of mercury in systolic blood pressure and 2 to 3 millimeters of mercury in diastolic blood pressure would be expected to substantially reduce the risk of stroke (by about 20 percent), coronary heart disease (by 10 percent) and all-cause mortality (by 8 percent),' they write.

Of the 343 individuals in the five tea studies, 171 drank tea and 172 served as controls, for a median duration of four weeks. Drinking tea was not associated with a reduction in blood pressure in any of the trials.

Tea and cocoa are both rich in polyphenols, but while black and green tea contain more compounds known as flavan-3-ols, cocoa contains more of another type of polyphenol, procyanids. 'This suggests that the different plant phenols must be differentiated with respect to their blood pressure-lowering potential and thus cardiovascular disease prevention, supposing that the tea phenols are less active than cocoa phenols,' the authors write.

The findings do not indicate a widespread recommendation for higher cocoa intake to decrease blood pressure, but it appears reasonable to substitute phenol-rich cocoa products such as dark chocolate for other high-calorie or high-fat desserts or dairy products, they continue. 'We believe that any dietary advice must account for the high sugar, fat and calorie intake with most cocoa products,' the authors conclude. 'Rationally applied, cocoa products might be considered part of dietary approaches to lower hypertension risk.'

Source-Eurekalert
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