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A Person’s Genotype Determines Whether Cocoa Helps Improve Blood Pressure

January 1, 2011: 10:37 AM EST
The genetic makeup of a person can be a deciding factor in whether the phenolic compounds in cocoa can reduce blood pressure, according to research from Sweden. The study measured the metabolic effects of a 75-gram serving of dark chocolate containing 72 percent cocoa on 16 healthy individuals. Researchers measured the impact of the cocoa on the activity of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), finding that the enzyme was inhibited in varying degrees, depending on the subject’s genotype. An ACE inhibitor suppresses conversion of angiotensin I to the vasoconstrictor angiotensin II. Blood flow is therefore increased, and blood pressure decreases.
I.A.-L Persson, et al. , "Effects of Cocoa Extract and Dark Chocolate on Angiotensin-converting Enzyme and Nitric Oxide in Human Endothelial Cells and Healthy Volunteers–A Nutrigenomics Perspective", Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, January 01, 2011, © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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