There are multiple lines of inquiry into flavanols in chocolate. For instance, we’ve told you about preliminary research that has found the compounds in cocoa can inhibit the activity of a digestive enzyme and block the breakdown of fat.
The new review on blood pressure included 20 studies varying in length from two to 18 weeks. Volunteers in the studies consumed dark chocolate or cocoa powder each day ranging from 3 to 100 grams (a regular-size 1.5-ounce Hershey bar is about 43 grams). And the results? Overall, there were small reductions in blood pressure, averaging 2-3 mm Hg. (Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury.)
As always the key is moderation.
Overindulgence in sweets is not the answer.
Limited portions of dark chocolate (1 ounce daily), does the trick.
Although seemingly minor, a difference of 15 millimeters of mercury or more between systolic readings in the two arms meant the risk of peripheral vascular disease was two and a half times greater and the risk of cerebrovascular disease was 1.6 times higher. It was also associated with a 70 percent greater risk of dying from heart disease. The precise number of the higher or lower systolic reading was less important than the extent of the difference between them. A difference of even 10 millimeters was enough to raise the risk of peripheral vascular disease.
Maintaining a healthy weight is not the only factor to consider to prevent heart attack risk.
Normal-weight patients diagnosed with a cluster of factors known as the “metabolic syndrome” could face a higher risk for heart failure than even obese patients without such factors, new research suggests.
Metabolic syndrome is characterized by a group of symptoms — increased blood pressure, higher-than-normal insulin levels, excess body fat around the waist, high triglycerides and/or abnormal cholesterol levels — that raise the risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes.
Thin does not equal healthy.
There are a multitude of factors to consider when assessing one’s health and wellness.
Check out this helpful guide on how to lower your blood pressure. It provides handy charts on appropriate blood pressure levels, including the danger levels for hypertension, and it offers useful tips to help handle this condition.
None of the advice will surprise you, but it’s helpful to have it laid out in a well organized and easy-to-read manner. If you or a loved one is dealing with a blood pressure problem, check this out. It’s in a PDF format so you can print it out as well.
This blog is for consumers of health care and medical services. Basically, it’s for everyone. For health issues you should always see a doctor or qualified medical professional - we are not dispensing medical advice. You should, however, be an educated consumer, so we offer information to help you start the process to become educated and to ask important questions. There are many excellent resources on the web, along with all sorts of conflicting opinions and advice. The key is to use a wide variety of resources to learn and access information, so you can ask the important questions when you are with your doctor or health professional.