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Cocoa, blood pressure, and vascular function


Sudano, I; Flammer, A J; Roas, S; Enseleit, F; Ruschitzka, F; Corti, R; Noll, G (2012). Cocoa, blood pressure, and vascular function. Current Hypertension Reports, 14(4):279-284.

Abstract

The consumption of a high amount of fruits and vegetables was found to be associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. Epidemiologically, a similar relationship has been found with cocoa, a naturally polyphenol-rich food. Obviously, double blind randomized studies are difficult to perform with cocoa and chocolate, respectively. However, intervention studies strongly suggest that cocoa has several beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, including the lowering of blood pressure, the improvement of vascular function and glucose metabolism, and the reduction of platelet aggregation and adhesion. Several potential mechanisms through which cocoa might exert its positive effects have been proposed, among them activation of nitric oxide synthase, increased bioavailability of nitric oxide as well as antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is the aim of this review to summarize the findings of cocoa and chocolate on blood pressure and vascular function.

The consumption of a high amount of fruits and vegetables was found to be associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. Epidemiologically, a similar relationship has been found with cocoa, a naturally polyphenol-rich food. Obviously, double blind randomized studies are difficult to perform with cocoa and chocolate, respectively. However, intervention studies strongly suggest that cocoa has several beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, including the lowering of blood pressure, the improvement of vascular function and glucose metabolism, and the reduction of platelet aggregation and adhesion. Several potential mechanisms through which cocoa might exert its positive effects have been proposed, among them activation of nitric oxide synthase, increased bioavailability of nitric oxide as well as antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is the aim of this review to summarize the findings of cocoa and chocolate on blood pressure and vascular function.

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9 citations in Web of Science®
8 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Cardiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:31 Jul 2012 15:30
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:55
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1522-6417
Additional Information:The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Publisher DOI:10.1007/s11906-012-0281-8
PubMed ID:22684995
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-63965

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