In a placebo-controlled study in 45 overweight adults, eating either dark chocolate or a sugar-free cocoa drink was found to improve heart blood vessel function and lower blood pressure. Interestingly, improvements in endothelial function were significantly greater with the sugar-free cocoa drink as compared to the sugar-containing cocoa drink. Blood pressure dropped with dark chocolate (systolic: -3.2 mm Hg, diastolic: -1.4) and sugar-free cocoa (systolic: -2.1 mm Hg; diastolic: -1.3 mm Hg). The authors conclude, "Further investigation is clearly warranted to determine longer term effects of habitual solid and liquid cocoa ingestion, optimal dosing of chocolate for cardiovascular benefit, variation in beneficial effects among diverse populations, and, ultimately, the influence of dietary cocoa intake on cardiac events."
"Acute dark chocolate and cocoa ingestion and endothelial function: a randomized controlled crossover trial," Faridi Z, Njike VY, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2008; 88(1): 58-63.
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of four research studies on their treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.