I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in early 1994. I underwent aggressive chemotherapy and an autologous stem cell transplant. I developed chronic atrial fibrillation (Afib) in late 2010 and chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy shortly thereafter. I’ve learned that keeping my blood pressure below 120/80 is important to my long-term heart health.
I manage my BP without conventional BP therapies. I’m doing well with evidence-based, non-conventional therapies such as dark chocolate.
I eat dark chocolate for several reasons. According to studies, dark chocolate is anti-angiogenic and therefore lowers the risk of many cancers and is heart healthy. I wrote a blog post about these two health attributes of dark chocolate.
Consumerlab.com found Endangered Species Chocolate Natural Dark Chocolate with 88% Cocoa to be the lowest-cost dark chocolate per 200 mg of flavanols. Flavanols are the key ingredient to lowering blood pressure and increasing insulin sensitivity according to the study linked and excerpted below.
For more information about non-conventional, nutritious therapies, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply ASAP.
“Numerous studies indicate that flavanols may exert significant vascular protection because of their antioxidant properties and increased nitric oxide bioavailability. In turn, nitric oxide bioavailability deeply influences insulin-stimulated glucose uptake and vascular tone. Thus, flavanols may also exert positive metabolic and pressor effects….
The objective was to compare the effects of either dark or white chocolate bars on blood pressure and glucose and insulin responses to an oral-glucose-tolerance test in healthy subjects….
HOMA-IR was significantly lower after dark than after white chocolate ingestion compared with and QUICKI was significantly higher after dark than after white chocolate ingestion. Although within normal values, systolic blood pressure was lower after dark than after white chocolate ingestion.”
“Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia in clinical practice, affecting 2.7–6.1 million people in the USA and 8.8 million in the European Union.1 AF is associated with a higher risk of stroke, heart failure, cognitive decline, dementia and mortality,2 so identifying methods for preventing and identifying effective treatments for AF is of great public health importance.
Moderate consumption of cocoa and cocoa-containing foods may promote cardiovascular health due to their high content of flavanols, a subgroup of polyphenols with vasodilatory, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.3 ,4…
The higher flavonoid content of dark chocolate compared with milk chocolate may yield greater cardiovascular benefits. A randomised trial found that, compared with milk chocolate, dark chocolate may have a higher caloric content but it also promotes greater satiety and lowers the desire to eat something sweet, resulting in an overall lower caloric intake.25 In addition, flavanol content and total antioxidant capacity in plasma may be lower if cocoa is consumed with milk or if cocoa is ingested as milk chocolate.26…
Conclusions- Participants with higher levels of chocolate intake had a lower rate of clinically apparent incident AF or flutter. Future research is necessary to confirm this finding and to determine whether high levels of chocolate intake are associated with higher AF risk.