Consumption of dark chocolate may reduce risk of primary hypertension, study suggests
Scientists set out to explore whether dark chocolate could help mitigate the risk of diseases associated with the heart and circulatory system. They employed a research method called Mendelian randomization, which involves analyzing differences in genes.
For their study, publicly available genetic data was used. The researchers concentrated on examining the relationship between consuming dark chocolate and the risk of cardiovascular diseases including primary hypertension, coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, thrombosis, and heart attack.
The Influence of Dark Chocolate on Heart Health
The research findings were encouraging. They revealed that individuals genetically predisposed to consume dark chocolate (those who naturally prefer dark chocolate) showed a decreased risk of developing hypertension and thrombosis.
Preventing Primary Hypertension
Hypertension is among the most severe risk factors for developing cardiovascular diseases. Dominantly, primary hypertension - characterised by escalated blood pressure without a specifically identified cause - is the most common form of this disease.
Thus, despite not finding any links between consuming dark chocolate and other cardiovascular diseases, the discovery still holds optimism.
“The study's findings signify substantial promise in terms of preventing primary hypertension. If future research validates the causal link, it could clear the way not only for dietary recommendations but also for the integration of bioactive compounds or extracts derived from dark chocolate in the conception of new therapies directed at preventing or treating primary hypertension,” said Dr. Rigved Tadwalkar, a cardiologist at the Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, during a discussion with Medical News Today.