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Cocoa Good For Elderly Men's Blood Pressure And Heart

October 07, 2017

If you are an old man you may literally 'drink cocoa to your heart's content', say researchers from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, Holland.

The researchers found than elderly men who drank cocoa enjoyed lower blood pressure and a more reduced risk of developing cardiovascular problems, when compared to elderly men who did not consume cocoa.

You can read about this study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

It seems, say the scientists, that cocoa contains ingredients that keep our circulatory system healthy.

We have always suspected cocoa was good for the heart. Studies have been indicating this for the last 200 years. It is only recently, however, that we have begun to understand why.

In this study, 470 men aged 65-84 were, monitored. They all had a check up and were then asked questions about their diets. This all started in 1985. They were checked and questioned again in 1990 and 1995. In other words, this was a ten-year study, on 470 men who were checked and interviewed every five years (three times).

They found the regular cocoa drinkers had much lower blood pressure than the non-cocoa drinkers. The cocoa drinkers, during this period, were half as likely to have died from a cardiovascular disease. Even if their weight was higher, they were smokers and/or drinkers, had very little physical activity - as long as they were regular cocoa drinkers their cardiovascular risks, and risk of death, were significantly lower than the non-cocoa drinkers, said the researchers.

The scientists also found that the regular cocoa drinkers were less likely to die of any disease, not just cardiovascular.

Perhaps it is the flavan-3-oils found in cocoa, or perhaps the high levels of antioxidants. More likely it is a combination of many ingredients that cocoa has.

Health experts have written in to blog saying that the study was small, and further investigation is necessary. One should be aware of how fattening chocolate can be - don't go hell-bent and gorge yourself with chocolates for the next six months and find yourself several kilos heavier.