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Dark Chocolate Possible Medicine for Blood Pressure

A new research suggest that eating a small amount of dark chocolate each day could lower blood pressure and cut the risk of stroke. Dark chocolate is not only good for your heart , it may also stave off hardening of the arteries among smokers, and it has more antioxidants per gram than red wine, green tea or berries.

A new study published in the July 4 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that to have a small blood pressure lowering effect, you may only need a tiny piece of dark chocolate daily for a couple of weeks, if you are healthy.

The study led by Dirk Taubert, M.D., Ph.D., of University Hospital of Cologne, Germany, and colleagues, who have studied cocoa rich food for quite some years, found eating no more than 30 calories a day of dark chocolate was associated with a lowering of blood pressure in healthy subjects who had high blood pressure but in normal ranges.

But overindulging in dark chocolate might have a drastic effect on your calorie calculations, and packing on pounds could raise blood pressure. So portion control is necessary to help you have your dark chocolate and reap its health benefits.

Forty-four people with raised blood pressure were put into two groups. One ate six grams of dark chocolate daily, the other the same amount of white chocolate.

"The dark chocolate reduced the systolic blood pressure, the top reading of the blood pressure, by 2.9 units, and the diastolic blood pressure, the bottom reading of blood pressure by 1.9 units. The white chocolate had no effect on blood pressure,"

"Although the magnitude of the blood pressure reduction was small, the effects are clinically noteworthy," Taubert's team writes.

On a population basis, it has been estimated that a 3-mm Hg reduction in systolic BP would reduce the relative risk of stroke mortality by 8 percent, of coronary artery disease mortality by 5 percent, and o
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