Dark Chocolate

 

Medicinal Uses and Indications: 

-Contains flavonoids called procyanidins & epicatechins; flavonoids are part of a group of antioxidants known as polyphenols which decreases LDL (“bad”) cholesterol oxidation

-Reduces the risk of blood clots

-Increases blood flow in arteries and the heart

-May lower high blood pressure

-Cocoa may have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels because it consists mainly of stearic acid and oleic acid. Stearic acid is a saturated fat, but unlike most saturated fatty acids, it does not raise blood cholesterol levels. Oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, does not raise cholesterol and may even reduce it.

-May improve mood and pleasure by boosting serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain

-Regular intake is associated with better cognitive performance in the elderly

-Contains a number of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and potassium

 

References:

1. Engler MB, et al. Flavonoid-rich dark chocolate improves endothelial function and increases plasma epicatechin concentrations in healthy adults. Journal of the AmericanCollege of Nutrition. 2004;23(3):197-204

2. Hamed MS, et al. Dark chocolate effect on platelet activity, C-reactive protein and lipid profile: a pilot study. Southern Medical Journal. 2008; 101 (12):1203-1208

3. Holmes RP, et al. The impact of dietary oxalate on kidney stone formation. Urology Research. 2004;32:311-316

4. Lippi G, et al. Darkchocolate: consumption for pleasure or therapy? Journal of Thrombolysis.2008 doi: 10.1007/s11239-008-0273-3

5. Miller KB, et al. Antioxidant activity and polyphenol and procyanidin contents of selected commercially available cocoa-containing and chocolate products in the United States. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.2006; 54: 4026-4068

6. Nestel PJ. How good is chocolate? American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2001;74:563-564.

7. Nurk E, et al. Intake of flavonoid-rich wine,tea and chocolate by elderly men and women is associated with better cognitivetest performance. TheJournal of Nutrition 2009; 139: 120-127

8. Serafini M, et al. Plasma antioxidants from chocolate. Nature. 2003;424:1013

9. Shiina Y, et al. Acute effect of oral flavonoid-rich dark chocolate intake on coronary circulation, as compared with non-flavonoid white chocolate, by transthoracic Doppler echocardiography in healthy adults. 2007 Doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2007.07.131

10. Taubert D, et al. Chocolate andblood pressure in elderly individuals with isolated systolic hypertension. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2003;290(8):1029-1030

11. Wan Y, et al. Effects of cocoa powder and dark chocolate on LDL oxidative susceptibility and prostaglandin concentrations in humans. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2001;74:596-602