High-cocoa polyphenol-rich chocolate improves blood pressure in patients with diabetes and hypertension

ARYA Atheroscler. 2015 Jan;11(1):21-9.


Background: The aim was to examine the effects of high-cocoa polyphenol-rich chocolate on lipid profiles, weight, blood pressure, glycemic control, and inflammation in individuals with Type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

Methods: Sixty individuals [32 in dark chocolate group (DCG) and 28 in white chocolate group (WCG)] with Type 2 diabetes on stable medication were enrolled in a randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind study. Subjects were randomized to consume 25 g DCG or WCG for 8 weeks. Changes in weight, blood pressure, glycemic control, lipid profile, and high sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) were measured at the beginning and end of the intervention. This clinical trial was registered at the Iranian registry of clinical trials.

Results: In DCC group, compared with baseline, serum levels of Apo A-1 (P = 0.045) was increased and fasting blood sugar (FBS) (P = 0.027), hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) (P = 0.025), Apo B (P = 0.012) and Log of hsCRP (P = 0.043) levels were decreased at the end of study. No changes were seen within the WCG in studied parameters. High polyphenol chocolate consumption compared to white chocolate resulted in significant decrease in of systolic (-5.93 ± 6.25 vs. -1.07 ± 7.97 mmHg, P = 0.004) and diastolic blood pressure (-6.4 ± 6.25 vs. 0.17 ± 7.9 mmHg, P = 0.002), FBS (-7.84 ± 19.15 vs. 4.00 ± 20.58 mg/dl, P = 0.019) over the course of 8 weeks of daily chocolate consumption neither weight nor body mass index and TG levels altered from baseline.

Conclusion: High polyphenol chocolate is effective in improving TG levels in hypertensive patients with diabetes and decreasing blood pressure and FBS without affecting weight, inflammatory markers, insulin resistance or glycemic control.

Keywords: Apolipoprotein; Cardiovascular Risk; Chocolate; High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol; Lipid Profile; Polyphenols; Type 2 Diabetes.