Posts Tagged ‘lower blood pressure’

Chocolate Buzz

Friday, December 9th, 2011
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

As if anyone really needs more excuses to eat chocolate, the latest research indicates in even stronger terms that the long-term consumption of dark chocolate is associated with lower blood pressure. However, this doesn’t mean forgoing balanced meals for a chocolate-only diet.

It’s okay to eat a little chocolate daily. New research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that a single square of chocolate a day can reduce blood pressure. Q-91 IngotThis is the first study to show the benefits of cocoa in dark chocolate over the long-term. Previous short-term studies have looked at the effects of cocoa on blood pressure, with encouraging results. However, there have been questions whether or not increasing chocolate intake over a long period of time would actually negate the blood pressure effects due to an increase in calories and fat. We suggest one of our new special squares of Choclatique Q-91 as the perfect way to enjoy chocolate and still get the great benefit of the dark stuff.

Remember: Dark chocolate trumps milk and white chocolate. Participants of the recent study were given a 30-calorie square of chocolate (one group received white chocolate, the other group received dark chocolate) over the course of 18 weeks. There were no significant changes in weight, lipids or blood glucose in the dark chocolate group. But participants did experience a decrease in blood pressure. The participants in the white chocolate did not show the same results.

Elephant ChocolatesDon’t be tempted overindulge in dark chocolate. Regardless of the heart-healthy benefits of dark chocolate, experts still caution that you don’t overindulge. One, pre-measured, individually-wrapped square of Choclatique Q-91 or one piece of Choclatique Elephant Chocolate a day is all you need to achieve the desired health benefits. Any additional chocolate falls into the indulgence category which is great for a chocolaty reward.

Our functional chocolates may be considered a healthy candy, but as with any dietary supplement, be sure to check with your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have a health condition requiring nutritional care.

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Just a Spoonful of Medicine or a Chunk of Chocolate

Friday, July 9th, 2010
— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique

This is just the news I have been waiting for. According to Dr. Karin Ried, a researcher at Adelaide University, “Just a chunk of chocolate a day could have the same effect on high blood pressure as half an hour of exercise.”

As it turns out, while people have been looking for the fountain of youth, the silver bullet or Holy Grail has been right there on the shelf in the candy aisle of your favorite supermarket or confection store all along.

We now know for certain that chocolate—and especially dark chocolate—contains chemicals known as flavanols which naturally open up blood vessels in the body. That means blood flows more easily and blood pressure drops.

The study showed that for those suffering from high blood pressure the effect of chocolate was so dramatic it could reduce their chances of having a heart attack or stroke by 20% over five years. Hey, I’ve been eating chocolate for over 50 years. I’m going to live forever!

“You don’t always need medication to reduce blood pressure,” said Dr. Ried who carried out the research. “This [study] shows that there are some [functional] foods that can help.”

Millions of people around the world suffer from high blood pressure–also known as hypertension; around half of them undiagnosed. About one in 10 patients cannot control the condition with medication or cannot tolerate the drugs, leaving them at greater risk. Hundreds of millions face a lifetime on medication to reduce the risk of suffering heart disease, strokes or even kidney failure.

For the latest research, Dr. Ried and her team of doctors and medical researchers combined the results of 15 other studies looking at chocolate and cocoa between 1955 and 2009 covering hundreds of people. They found that for people with hypertension, eating chocolate could reduce the blood pressure by up to five per cent. For those with normal pressure it had no effect. “This is a significant finding,” said Dr Ried.

“We’ve found that consumption can significantly, albeit modestly, reduce blood pressure for people with high blood pressure, but not for people with normal blood pressure.”

She said it will take more research to determine the optimal amount of chocolate that was needed to make the most difference. Any volunteers who want to eat massive amounts of chocolate are welcome to sign up here.

She said the studies varied from just one chunk (6g) to a whole bar (100g) a day. People with high blood pressure are seen to have it consistently higher than 140mm Hg systolic or 90mm Hg diastolic. Normal is 90/60. The results showed that chocolate would make it drop 5mm in systolic pressure which is comparable to the known effects of 30 daily minutes of moderate physical activity such as brisk walking or swimming.

Chocolate has been found to have health giving benefits in the past. Research published earlier this year showed that people who eat just one bar a week are 22% less likely to suffer a stroke. Choclatique’s Q-91 may be just the answer to your functional chocolate needs. Q-91 is our super-dark, bittersweet premium chocolate high in cacao mass. One of the most pleasant effects of eating Q-91 chocolate is the “euphoric feeling” that many people experience after indulging. Chocolate contains more than 300 known beneficial compounds including alkaloids such as theobromine and phenethylamine, which are said to have positive physiological effects on the body, and have been linked to increased serotonin levels in the brain.

Scientists claim that chocolate, eaten in moderation, can not only lower blood pressure, but prevent tooth decay as well. Dark chocolate has recently been promoted for its additional health benefits, including a substantial amount of antioxidants that reduce the formation of free radicals and reduce the effects of aging. However, the health giving benefits have to be weighed against their contribution to weight gain.

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Can Choclatique’s Q-91 be a Cure for What Ails You?

Monday, April 19th, 2010
— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique

This week, Spanish medical researchers reported that chocolate may be good medicine for patients with severe liver disease. Those Spaniards must have known something very early on know since they’re the ones who first brought chocolate to Europe from the New World in the Americas.

Dr. Mark ThurszReuters of London was all abuzz about comments made by Dr. Mark Thursz, a professor of hepatology at London’s Imperial College, when he said, “This new study shows a clear association between eating dark chocolate and (lower) portal hypertension and demonstrates the potential importance of improvements in the management of cirrhotic patients with chocolate.” Cocoa, rich in dark chocolate and low in sugar, could be prescribed for people with liver cirrhosis in the future. This is yet another new study among a body of research to demonstrate the amazing potential health benefits of chocolate.

The Spanish researchers said that eating dark chocolate capped the usual after-meal rise in abdominal blood pressure, which can reach dangerous levels in cirrhotic patients and, in severe cases, lead to blood vessel rupture. Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver as a result of long-term damage. It is caused by various factors, including hepatitis infection and alcohol abuse.

Found in cocoa, antioxidants called flavanols are believed to be the reason why chocolate is so good for the control of blood pressure because the chemicals help the smooth muscle cells of the blood vessels to relax and widen.

A study of 21 patients with end-stage liver disease found that those given a meal containing 85% cacao dark chocolate had a markedly smaller rise in blood pressure in the liver—or portal hypertension—than those given white chocolate.

The results were presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver in Vienna and follow a number of earlier scientific studies suggesting that dark chocolate also promotes heart health.

Q-91At Choclatique, we have developed a great-tasting chocolate low in sugar and high in antioxidants, called Q-91. Choclatique’s Q-91 is a uniquely complex blend of several different cacao beans from each of the major cacao growing regions around the world. With the first taste, you will discover that the rich, natural flavors of ripe cherry and deep chocolate foreshadow complex layers of tart citrus, red fruit and nutty notes held up by a solid chocolate base.

Even though Choclatique’s Q-91 tastes great, it still contains alkaloids such as theobromine and phenethylamine, which are said to have positive physiological effects on the mind and health benefits for the body. Dark chocolate like Q-91 has been linked to increased serotonin levels in the brain because it includes a substantial amount of antioxidants that reduce the formation of free radicals and lessen the effects of many diseases and aging.

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