Dark Chocolate Supplement Review

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Dark Chocolate
  Evaluated for:
Effectiveness Rating Effectiveness Rating
Improved cholesterol
+2 (Moderate Evidence)
Skin Protection
+2 (Moderate Evidence)
Blood Pressure
+2 (Moderate Evidence)
+2 (Moderate Evidence)
Chronic Fatigue
+2 (Moderate Evidence)


  • Dark chocolate is made from roasted cocoa kernels. Rich in antioxidants from the flavonol family, it contains arginine, which releases a substance to dilate and relax arteries.
  • Cocoa decreases skin damage from ultraviolet light.
  • Cocoa decreases LDL and raises HDL (healthy) cholesterol.
  • Cocoa causes the brain to release dopamine, which improves mood.
  • Cocoa decreases menopause symptoms.
  • In two studies of men with mild hypertension, half of whom ate 100 g of dark chocolate (rich in flavonols) daily, while the other half ate flavonol-free white chocolate, the dark chocolate group lowered their blood pressure. One ounce daily decreases systolic blood pressure by 5 points and diastolic (the bottom number) by 3 points.
  • One study showed that polyphenol-rich cocoa reduced fatigue, and improved energy and overall functioning in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.


  • Chocolate lovers should offset the additional calories from chocolate by decreasing calories elsewhere in their diets. However, researchers in the chronic fatigue study noted that study participants did not gain weight even with the additional calories, and they wondered if improvements in mood, energy and activity may have offset the increased caloric intake.
  • All in all, it’s hard to say anything bad about dark chocolate.


DOSAGE:The recommended dose of dark chocolate is 1 ounce, or 28 g, daily. This corresponds to 30-500 flavonols a day (flavonol content varies widely in commercially available dark chocolate). Special flavonol-enriched chocolate is also available. The color of chocolate and percentage of cocoa are not indicators of flavonol content. White chocolate contains little or no flavonols.

CONCLUSION:We conclude that dark chocolate is a safe and effective product for improving cholesterol, blood pressure, mood, and symptoms of chronic fatigue. Factor in the calories from the flavanol-rich treat. Cocoa has a bitter taste, so it doesn't taste good pure. Look for any formulation that contains 72% cocoa or more.

“Cocoa.” Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2013. 8 November 2013.
Persson, I. 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. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol (2011) 57:44-50
Sathyapalan, T. et al. High cocoa polyphenol rich chocolate may reduce the burden of the symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome. Nutrition Journal (2010) 9:55

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