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Cardiology Research and Practice
Volume 2014, Article ID 945951, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Central Arterial Hemodynamic Effects of Dark Chocolate Ingestion in Young Healthy People: A Randomized and Controlled Trial

1Departamento de Cardiopneumologia, ESTESC, Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra, Rua 5 de Outubro, SM Bispo, Apartado 7006, 3046-854 Coimbra, Portugal
2Instituto de Investigacao e Formacao Cardiovascular, Quinta da Portela, Rua Princesa Cindazunda, Lote 9.3, Loja 94, 3030-503 Coimbra, Portugal

Received 27 February 2014; Revised 7 May 2014; Accepted 8 May 2014; Published 27 May 2014

Academic Editor: Frans Leenen

Copyright © 2014 T. Pereira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. The aim of this study was to assess the vascular benefits of dark chocolate in healthy and young individuals. Methods. A randomized and controlled trial was carried out involving 60 healthy volunteers, randomized into two groups: control group (CG; ) and intervention group (IG; ). The IG ingested a daily dosage of 10 g of dark chocolate (>75% cocoa) for a month. Blood pressure (BP), flow-mediated dilation (FMD), arterial stiffness index (ASI), aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV), and pulse wave analysis (PWA) were assessed at baseline and one week after the one-month intervention period. Results. Arterial function improved after intervention in the IG, with PWV decreasing from  m/s to  m/s (), with no significant differences observed in the CG. A significant decrease in ASI ( to ; ) and AiX ( to ; ) was also depicted for the IG. Endothelial function improved in the IG, with the FMD increasing 9.31% after the 1-month intervention (), with no significant variation in the CG. Conclusion. The daily ingestion of 10 g dark chocolate (>75% cocoa) during a month significantly improves vascular function in young and healthy individuals.