Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Phenol-Rich Cocoa Beats Tea for Reducing Blood Pressure

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Phenol-Rich Cocoa Beats Tea for Reducing Blood Pressure

Article excerpt

Cocoa--but not tea--consumption appears to be associated with blood pressure reductions comparable with those achieved with a [beta]-blocker or an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor.

That conclusion comes from a meta-analysis of 10 randomized, controlled trials that examined the effect of consuming tea and cocoa, which are rich in polyphenols, on blood pressure measures.

In five of the trials, a total of 87 people at a mean age of 44 years received cocoa, and 86 similar people were placed in a control group, for a median of 2 weeks. In four of the trials, cocoa drinkers had, on average, a -4.7 mm Hg reduction in systolic blood pressure and a -2.8 mm Hg decline in diastolic blood pressure, reported Dr. Dirk Taubert and his colleagues at the University Hospital of Cologne (Germany) (Arch. Intern. Med. 2007; 167:626-34).

The greatest reductions in blood pressure were noted in younger people with mild essential hypertension. The investigators noted that reductions in blood pressure were smaller among the cocoa consumers who were either older (average age 59 years) and hypertensive or younger than 44 years and normotensive. …

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