One small study confirmed that chocolate is a tasty way to reduce blood pressure. Surprisingly, it can also lower blood sugar. In this trial, 14 obese adults were given 20 grams of special high-polyphenol chocolate called Acticoa. For two weeks they were given chocolate with either 500 mg or 1000 mg of polyphenols and told to eat it throughout the day. Then they had a one-week chocolate-free washout period and were switched to an additional two weeks on the other chocolate product. There was no difference between the two doses of polyphenols, but a strong difference between measurements at the beginning of the study and those at the end of the chocolate interventions. Chocolate consumption was associated with significantly lower measurements of blood pressure and finger-prick fasting blood glucose levels. There were no changes in weight. The investigators suggest that more studies should be done to determine the minimum effective dose of chocolate polyphenols.
[British Journal of Nutrition, March, 2010.]