[Beneficial effects of chocolate on cardiovascular health]

Nutr Hosp. 2011 Mar-Apr;26(2):289-92. doi: 10.1590/S0212-16112011000200007.
[Article in Spanish]


Since ancient times, numerous health beneficial effects have been attributed to chocolate, closing up its consumption to a therapeutic use. The present study reviews some relevant studies about chocolate (and its bioactive compounds) on some cardiovascular risk factors and stresses the need of future studies. The consumption of cocoa/ chocolate (i) increases plasma antioxidant capacity, (ii) diminishes platelet function and inflammation, and (iii) decreases diastolic and systolic arterial pressures. Data currently available indicate that daily consumption of cocoa-rich chocolate (rich in polyphenols) may at least partially lower cardiovascular disease risk. Further studies are required in order to establish the bioavailability and mechanisms of action of bioactive compounds in chocolate. The study of the interaction of chocolate and its components with candidate genes will also supply necessary information regarding the individuals best suited to benefit from a potential cardiovascular disease treatment with chocolate.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Blood Platelets / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Cacao*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / genetics
  • Health
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors


  • Antioxidants