Could a cocoa supplement replace statins? Cocoa contains compounds that help dilate the blood vessels.
Researchers are investigating to see if these compounds, taken in supplement form, can help reduce high blood pressure - a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. The pill may also prove a more natural way of treating the condition than statins, taken by six million people in Britain alone.In the trial, at the University of Cologne, 48 men and women with high blood pressure will be given a single capsule containing 1,000 mg cocoa polyphenols.
These are antioxidants that occur naturally in the cocoa bean - it's thought they work by increasing levels of nitric oxide, which in turn widens blood vessels.