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Chocolate and Health

Studies have shown that consumption of either cocoa in a beverage or small amounts of dark chocolate has improved the arteries ability to relax and expand in order to accommodate additional blood flow, this hasnt however, been shown to lower blood pressure. It is presumed that cocoa causes the release of nitric oxide is the reason for this effect. There has been no evidence from studies to show that eating cocoa products affects the risk of hypertension, and in addition, the amount of chocolate needed to produce results would cause weight gain, weight gain has been proven detrimental in the fight against hypertension. http://tohealthylifestyles.

com/health/ Recently published studies have shown that eating 100g of flavonoid-rich dark chocolate each day caused a decrease in fasting glucose and insulin levels in addition to a decrease in insulin resistance and increased insulin sensitivity. The publication of these studies has caused reports that chocolate can fight diabetes to circulate around the world. http://tohealthylifestyles.

com/health/ In addition to the concern of excess weight gain there are many other concerns to be considered before anyone should recommend diabetics start eating dark chocolate. Studies were also conducted comparing the difference between foods with added cocoa and foods without added cocoa and these showed a 28% increase in insulin levels while showing no difference in glycaemic response. It is unknown whether an increase in insulin levels and no change in glucose amounts is beneficial, harmful or has no effect on diabetic health. The authors of the study were not sure how the chocolate affected the insulin levels, but it was suggested that it may have been the effect on the nitric oxide metabolism. Another idea that is plausible is that cacaos lipid fraction may have played a role, or the specific flavonoid compounds that are altered during cocoa powder production could be responsible. Cocoa being high in the trace mineral chromium may also be a factor in the results, chromium is very important in insulin function. Thank you,

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