Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Chocolate, oh chocolate!

Tired of taking that expensive blod pressure medicine with all its nasty side effects? Here, have a nice chunk of dark chocolate instead.

Eating dark chocolate may be almost as effective at lowering blood pressure as taking the most common antihypertensive drugs, a review of studies has found. Tea, on the other hand, appears to be ineffective.

From more than 3,000 papers, researchers picked the largest randomized and controlled prospective studies and used statistical techniques to combine the data. The analysis included four studies of black tea, one of green tea and five of dark chocolate. It appears in the April 9 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine.

Four of the five studies on chocolate found reduced blood pressure after eating, but none of the tea studies showed significant benefit. The magnitude of the effect of eating three and a half ounces of dark chocolate a day was clinically significant, comparable to that of beta-blockers like atenolol, known by the brand name Tenormin, or propranolol, known as Inderal. The authors acknowledge that the studies were short and that results may not apply to habitual use.

Honey, I'll be right back, I have to run to the store for a minute!

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