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International Journal of Hypertension
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 147321, 9 pages
Clinical Study

Consumption of High-Polyphenol Dark Chocolate Improves Endothelial Function in Individuals with Stage 1 Hypertension and Excess Body Weight

1Discipline of Clinical and Experimental Pathophysiology, Rio de Janeiro State University, 20551-030 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
2Department of Applied Nutrition, Nutrition Institute, Rio de Janeiro State University, 20551-030 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
3Lipids Laboratory, Rio de Janeiro State University, 20551-030 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Received 3 August 2012; Accepted 28 September 2012

Academic Editor: Mario Fritsch Neves

Copyright © 2012 Lívia de Paula Nogueira 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.


Background. Hypertension and excess body weight are important risk factors for endothelial dysfunction. Recent evidence suggests that high-polyphenol dark chocolate improves endothelial function and lowers blood pressure. This study aimed to evaluate the association of chocolate 70% cocoa intake with metabolic profile, oxidative stress, inflammation, blood pressure, and endothelial function in stage 1 hypertensives with excess body weight. Methods. Intervention clinical trial includes 22 stage 1 hypertensives without previous antihypertensive treatment, aged 18 to 60 years and presents a body mass index between 25.0 and 34.9 kg/m2. All participants were instructed to consume 50 g of chocolate 70% cocoa/day (2135 mg polyphenols) for 4 weeks. Endothelial function was evaluated by peripheral artery tonometry using Endo-PAT 2000 (Itamar Medical). Results. Twenty participants (10 men) completed the study. Comparison of pre-post intervention revealed that (1) there were no significant changes in anthropometric parameters, percentage body fat, glucose metabolism, lipid profile, biomarkers of inflammation, adhesion molecules, oxidized LDL, and blood pressure; (2) the assessment of endothelial function through the reactive hyperemia index showed a significant increase: 1.94 ± 0.18 to 2.22 ± 0.08, . Conclusion.In individuals with stage 1 hypertension and excess body weight, high-polyphenol dark chocolate improves endothelial function.