A group of Spanish researchers have found that eating dark chocolate after meals stopped the usual rise in abdominal blood pressure, which can reach dangerous levels among people suffering from cirrhosis and, in severe cases, lead to blood vessel rupture.
The study stated that flavanols, a type of antioxidants found in cocoa, could be the reason why chocolate is beneficial in lowering blood pressure because the chemicals help smooth the muscle cells of the blood vessels, causing them to relax and widen.
The research was conducted with 21 patients suffering from end-stage cirrhosis, a chronic liver disease causing it to scar. The subjects that were provided with a meal containing 85-percent dark chocolate had a significant smaller rise in blood pressure in the liver compared to those who were given white chocolate.
The results were presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver in Vienna.
- Chocolate May Be Good Medicine for Liver Patients (nlm.nih.gov)
- Dark Chocolate Helps Lower Blood Pressure in Liver Patients (businessweek.com)
- Chocolate may be good medicine for liver patients (nationalpost.com)