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Are Cocoa Benefits Exaggerated?

Q. A lot of press attention has been given recently to the benefits of dark chocolate for lowering blood pressure. A banner at the bottom of the television screen said that eating chocolate is as good as some blood pressure medicines.

However, in the studies from which this conclusion was drawn, the average systolic pressure was only lowered 5 points and the diastolic pressure by about 3 points.

While this is in the right direction, these numbers are hardly anything to get excited about. Why are people so enthusiastic about such limited results?

A. No one is suggesting that people eat chocolate instead of taking blood pressure medicine. You might be surprised to learn, however, that even standard blood pressure pills don’t lower blood pressure much more. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Nov. 10, 2004) found the popular medications Norvasc (amlopidine) and Vasotec (enalapril) lowered systolic pressure by 5 points and diastolic by about 2.5 points.

4/26/18 redirected to https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/articles/will-dark-chocolate-help-you-see-better/

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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