Cocoa flavonoids are able to reduce cardiovascular risk by improving endothelial function and decreasing blood pressure (BP). Interest in the biological activities of cocoa is daily increasing. A recent meta-analysis shows flavanol-rich cocoa administration decreases mean systolic (-4.5mm Hg; p<0.001) and diastolic (-2.5mm Hg; p<0.001) BP. A 3-mm Hg systolic BP reduction has been estimated to decrease the risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. This paper summarizes new findings concerning cocoa effects on cardiovascular health focusing on putative mechanisms of action and nutritional and "pharmacological" viewpoints. Cocoa consumption could play a pivotal role in human health.
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