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.]

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  1. MonaLisa
    Reply

    Brent,
    Exactly what dark chocolate would you recommend? A candy bar, or any type of dark chocolate. What about See’s candy shops here in California, they have a variety of dark chocolate candy?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: The high-polyphenol chocolate used in the study, Acticoa, is made by the Barry Callebaut Company. It is available in Europe. Mars is bringing out a high-polyphenol product under the name Cirku, available online. There is a high-polyphenol product called Xocai. We don’t like the fact that it is sold in a multi-level marketing scheme, but there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with the product itself.

  2. S. K.
    Reply

    What brands of chocolate contain polyphenols? Is content listed on the labels? If not, how do we know what brand or type chocolate to buy?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: WE REGRET THAT POLYPHENOL CONTENT IS NOT LISTED ON THE LABEL. WE HOPE SOMEDAY IT WILL BE.

  3. Laverne
    Reply

    I eat a square or two of 70%-cacao chocolate (Lindt or Ghirardelli bars)every day. I see no mention of polyphenols on the labels. I wonder if there is any way to find out the correlation.

  4. Brent B.
    Reply

    Dark chocolate is an excellent source of magnesium, which works like a charm to lower blood pressure. And what a tasty way to do it!

  5. MM
    Reply

    Do all brands of chocolate contain polyphenols? Is content listed on the labels? If not, how do we know what brand or type chocolate to buy? I prefer dark. How much did they eat throughout the day?

  6. abigail
    Reply

    addendum: and tell us how to find the information we need on the label of the substance mentioned in the article, in this instance the polyphenol amount in chocolate.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: A FEW CHOCOLATE PRODUCTS CONTAIN THIS INFORMATION, FOR EXAMPLE XOCAI, A HIGH-POLYPHENOL CHOCOLATE SOLD IN A MULTI-LEVEL MARKETING SCHEME. WE HOPE THAT IN THE FUTURE MORE CHOCOLATE PRODUCTS WILL OFFER IT ON THE LABEL. FOR NOW, DARK CHOCOLATE NOT ALKALI PROCESSED IS OUR GENERAL RECOMMENDATION, BUT IT IS NOT SPECIFIC ENOUGH TO SUIT US.

  7. abigail
    Reply

    I would profit from additional commentary from the Graedons after the cited article. For instance, remind us here what POLYPHENOLS are. Many names of substances sound alike. It is easy to confuse them.

  8. Tony D
    Reply

    I found the company website. It looks like their products are not even available in the States. Not much help then. Thanks Tony
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: WE TOO WERE DISAPPOINTED THAT ACTICOA IS NOT SOLD IN THE US.

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