Natural Standard® Patient Monograph, Copyright © 2014 (www.naturalstandard.com). All Rights Reserved. Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.

Background

Cocoa and chocolate come from the cacao bean. Cacao is native to South America and has been grown in the tropics for at least 3,000 years. The African country Ivory Coast is the one of the largest suppliers of raw cocoa.

Cocoa products have been considered delicacies by many cultures. Cocoa contains flavonoids, which are compounds with antioxidant effects, blood thinning properties, and possibly other health benefits. For this reason, and because it is so popular, chocolate is widely researched.

Chocolate has been studied for heart disease, skin conditions, constipation, and various other conditions. The strongest evidence exists for cocoa's ability to decrease blood pressure.

This evidence-based monograph was prepared by The Natural Standard Research Collaboration

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