Cocoa Powder loaded with Cocoa Antioxidants may slash blood pressure

July 29, 2009

Consuming cocoa powder, enriched in flavonoids, may decrease blood pressure and boost heart health according to the results of a new animal study. Human clinical studies have shown this before but this time the effects were measured against a commonly used drug for treating high blood pressure.

Rodents were fed cocoa and experienced a reduction in blood pressure similar to a dose of Captopril, a well-known pharmaceutical anti-hypertensive in the ACE inhibiting class of high blood pressure treating drugs. “This is important because this drug is known to be a very effective antihypertensive treatment in clinical practice and spontaneously hypertensive rats represent nowadays the best experimental model for essential hypertension in humans,” wrote the researchers, led by Amaya Aleixandre from the Faculty of Medicine at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid. “The results obtained suggest that this product could be used as a functional food ingredient with potential therapeutic benefit in the prevention and treatment of hypertension.” The study is published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Volume 57, Pages 6156-6162.