‘Those taking the high dose of cocoa flavonols had an average six-point drop in blood pressure,’ Dr Rodriguez Mateo revealed. ‘We have done a number of studies and the evidence is stronger for people who already have high blood pressure, but we need more clinical data to be sure.
‘We haven’t got trials studying people over many years but we would assume that short term results would be the same over a number of years.’
But before you start cracking open the Cadbury’s and downing it in record amounts, you might want to read this. Dr Rodriguez Mateo warns it’s not a licence for chocoholics to go wild given that the amounts you’d need to eat to lower your blood pressure would cause other health problems, due to the high sugar and fat intake.
‘You would have to eat huge quantities of chocolate to get this level of flavanols, and even if you tried you would be cancelling out any benefit by eating vast amounts of extra fat and sugar at the same time,’ she said.
Instead the research group are looking at giving those with high blood pressure cocoa Flavanols supplements to improve their health - and some believe it could be more effective than some prescription medication.
‘We have been working in this area for many years,’ Dr Miriam Ferrer, spokeswoman for Cambridge Nutraceuticals which produces a cocoa flavanol supplement told Metro.
‘The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has acknowledged that our product, Blood Flow+, helps maintain the elasticity of blood vessels. This improves blood flow and reduces blood pressure.
‘This new study supports EFSA’s conclusions about cocoa flavonols. It also confirms the findings of other leading research institutes around the world.’