Chocolates help treat high blood pressure: Study

A study said that wolfing a chunk of chocolate lowers your BP in the same way as 30 minutes of physical activity.

Written by Agencies | London | Published: June 28, 2010 12:14 pm

Suffering from hypertension? Fret not,just gorge on a chunk of chocolate daily,for a new study says that it could have the same positive effect on high blood pressure as half an hour of exercise.

Researchers have carried out the study and found that people with high blood pressure can reduce the chance of having a heart attack or a stroke by 20 per cent if they eat chocolate everyday.

According to them,chocolate,particularly the dark variety,contains chemicals known as flavanols which naturally open up blood vessels in the body,which means blood can flow more easily and the pressure drops. “You don’t always need medication to reduce blood pressure. This shows that there are some foods that can help,” lead researcher Dr Karin Ried of Adelaide University was quoted by the British newspaper as saying.

For the study,the researchers combined the results of 15 other studies looking at chocolate and cocoa between 1955 and 2009 covering hundreds of people. They found that for people with hypertension,eating chocolate could reduce the blood pressure by up to five percent. But for those with normal pressure it had no effect,the findings revealed.

“This is a significant finding. We’ve found that consumption can significantly,albeit modestly,reduce blood pressure for people with high blood pressure but not for people with normal blood pressure,” Dr Reid said.

Hundreds of thousands of people with hypertension face a lifetime on medication to reduce the risk of suffering heart disease,strokes or kidney failure. People with hypertension are seen to have it consistently higher than 140mm Hg systolic or 90mm Hg diastolic. Normal is 90/60.

The results of the study have showed that chocolate make it drop 5mm in systolic pressure that’s comparable to the known effects of nearly 30 minutes of moderate physical activity such as brisk walking or swimming. the researchers said that they will take more research to see what is the optimal amount of chocolate that was needed to make the most difference.

The findings have been published in the BMC Medic journal.

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