Can cocoa lower blood pressure, cholestrol risk?

A representational image showing a chocolate bar kept on a table. — Unsplash/File

The effect of consuming cocoa on cardiovascular disease risk factors was looked at by random controlled trials in a new meta-study.

Cocoa use was related with varying degrees of improvement in total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and fasting blood glucose, reported Medical News Today.

It was also found by the researchers that cocoa consumption showed no effects on body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, triglycerides, “good” HDL cholesterol, and HbA1c, which is an important biomarker of diabetes.

Accounting for one in every five fatalities in 2021, heart disease is the leading cause of death across all population categories in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control. It impacts women, men, and every ethnic and racial group.

“Cocoa is a good source of catechins and other polyphenolic compounds like flavanols known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can support cardiovascular health,” said Michelle Routhenstein, preventive cardiology dietitian at EntirelyNourished.com, who was not involved in the new study.

“Cocoa is rich in flavonoids including epicatechin, which is a compound that helps to support nitric oxide-rich pools in the body which help to support heart and blood vessel health,” she added.

However, increased use of cocoa may impact people with diabetes and is not likely to be good for most people. It is essential to consult your medical expert before changing your diet.

Disclaimer: This may not work for everyone. Consult your doctor before trying this out.

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