February 2018

Is all dark chocolate good for you?

Maybe. Chocolate contains flavonols and other flavanoids. Research shows that eating chocolate containing 30-1080 mg of flavonoids for 2-18 weeks can reduce systolic blood pressure by 3-5 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 2-3 mmHg. But there’s no way for you to know if the chocolate you’re eating contains enough flavonoids to be beneficial. Dark chocolate contains more flavanoids than milk chocolate or white chocolate. But the color of the chocolate and the percentage of cocoa present do not provide a measure of the flavanol content. These constituents are bitter and are often removed during the processing of the cocoa. So enjoy chocolate in moderation as a treat, but don’t count on it to lower blood pressure.

The information in this brief report is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions. Copyright © 2024 NatMed. Commercial distribution or reproduction prohibited. NatMed is the leading provider of high-quality, evidence-based, clinically-relevant information on natural medicine, dietary supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals, functional foods, diets, complementary practices, CAM modalities, exercises and medical conditions. Monograph sections include interactions with herbs, drugs, foods and labs, contraindications, depletions, dosing, toxicology, adverse effects, pregnancy and lactation data, synonyms, safety and effectiveness.