Dark Chocolate and Blood Pressure

The flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the endothelium (the lining of arteries) to produce nitric oxide, a gas.

One of the functions of nitric oxide is to send signals to the arteries to relax, which lowers resistance to blood flow and therefore reduces blood pressure.

There are many controlled trials showing that cocoa and dark chocolate can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, but the effects are usually mild.

However, there is also one study in people with elevated blood pressure that showed no effect, so take all this with a grain of salt.

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