Snack Size Science: Unwrapping chocolate's heart benefits

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Snack size science, Hypertension

NutraIngredient’s Snack Size Science brings you the top nutrition research news every two weeks. This week we spill the beans on the potential of chocolate to lower blood pressure.

The following is a transcript of this podcast:

This is NutraIngredients’s Snack Size Science​. I’m Stephen Daniells - bringing you the week’s top science in digestible amounts.

This week we unwrap the science behind the reported health benefits of chocolate. While there already is a chunk of science supporting the cardiovascular benefits of dark chocolate, results of a new study with mice improves our understanding of how chocolate may lower blood pressure.

The new study used Natraceutical’s CocoanOX ingredient and was funded by the Spanish company. Researchers from Complutense University of Madrid tested the effects of the ingredient in mice genetically programmed to develop high blood pressure.

According to findings published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, ​hypertensive rodents fed the antioxidant-rich chocolate experienced blood pressure drops similar to that achievable with Captopril, a well-known pharmaceutical anti-hypertensive.

This would be about 210 grams of chocolate for a 70 kg human, which is a lot when you consider a KingSize Mars bar weighs in at about 85 grams. With chocolate also being high in fat and calories, consumers should consume avoid overindulgence and aim for moderation. So, a nibble a day may well keep the cardiologist away.

For NutraIngredients’ Snack Size Science​, I’m Stephen Daniells.

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