Chocolate Tea and Cardiovascular Health

Fitness Expert
Heart disease is recognized worldwide as the leading cause of death. High cholesterol, hardening of the arteries, and damaging of blood vessels due to high blood pressure are all factors related to cardiovascular health.

Medical experts and nutritionists recommend a heart healthy diet and plenty of exercise to combat heart disease. Research also suggests that antioxidants could play a vital role in helping to support cardiovascular health.

Epigallocatechin gallate, ECGC in Green Tea, procyanidins & epicatechins in pure Cocoa and the powerful antioxidant resveratrol have been studied extensively for their antioxidant value, particularly for their benefit to heart health. Along with a heart healthy diet and exercise, research indicates these flavonoids, if included regularly in your diet, may help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Their potency is dependent on their antioxidant value. Antioxidant value is measured in ORAC (Total Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). Raw cocoa in its purest form has the highest ORAC value of 26,000 units and dark chocolate with an ORAC of 13,120. Green Tea is marked at 1,220 ORAC and red grapes which contain resveratrol have an ORAC of 750.

Heart Healthy Antioxidants from Green Tea, Chocolate and Resveratrol
Epidemiological studies show that these antioxidants help to improve heart health in a number of ways. They basically work in the same way to support cardio-protective health. 1,2

Studies show that flavonoids can help to dilate the brachial artery by 3.9% after the first 30 minutes from the time of ingestion.3 It is believed that Resveratrol and antioxidants found in Green Tea, Chocolate and Resveratrol help to stimulate the production of nitric oxide, which in turns helps to relax the blood vessels, increasing its dilation. This results in improved flow and circulation. Poor flow and circulation is the main reason for the progression of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the heart arteries.

These particular antioxidants also help to protect the arteries by reducing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol which leads to plaque formation in the arteries. 4-7.

Myocardial Infarction
ECGC in Green Tea, Procyanidin in Chocolate and Resveratrol are believed to help block a protein in the blood that is responsible for inflammatory damage to the heart after a myocardial infarction. These antioxidants help to reduce the death of heart muscle cells by reducing the damage to the cells caused by oxidation. In addition, green tea is also believed to accelerate the recovery of patients who have suffered myocardial infarction. 8-15

Coronary Artery Disease
Studies indicate that regularly including these antioxidants in your diet may offer cardio-protective results. ECGC in Green Tea, Epicatechin and Procyanidin in Chocolate and Resveratrol are all believed to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by supporting good blood flow and circulation in the heart, helping to reduce oxidative damage caused by free radical activity. 16-18, 20-22, 26

Belinda Linden, head of medical information at the British Heart Foundation said: "Green tea has, in the past, been associated with a reduced risk of coronary artery disease, with claims that its high antioxidant properties may cut the amount of cholesterol in the artery wall."

These antioxidants are also believed to have anti-thrombotic properties. This means it helps to reduce the clotting of blood, or thrombosis which can lead to a stroke or heart attack.19, 23-25

Blood Pressure
Reseveratrol and antioxidants found in Green Tea and Chocolate help to reduce the risk of high blood pressure. According to the Internal Medicine Archives (July 2004), there is a 46% reduced risk of developing high blood pressure for people who drank ½ to 2 ½ cups of green tea a day for one year. The risk was 65% lower for people who drank more than 2 ½ cups a day. 27-30

Lowering Bad Cholesterol
Studies show that these antioxidants increase the liver's LDL receptors. These receptors bind LDL, the bad cholesterol, and expel it through the digestive system without synthesizing it. This helps to support the regulation of normal cholesterol levels. 31-34

Chocolate Tea
The combination of Cocoa, Green Tea and Resveratrol produces a powerful drink that supports heart health. CocoPure contains all three ingredients with absolutely no fat, no milk or sugars. It has an ORAC value of 5,250 for every 7.4 grams.


1. Evidence that the antioxidant flavonoids in tea and cocoa are beneficial for cardiovascular health. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2002 Feb;13(1):41-9
2. Effects of cocoa flavanols on risk factors for cardiovascular disease, Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17 Suppl 1:284-7. PMID: 18296357

Green Tea
3. The acute effect of green tea consumption on endothelial function in healthy individuals. European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation, 2008; 15 (3): 300 DOI: 10.1097/HJR.0b013e3282f4832f
4. Tea catechins inhibit cholesterol oxidation accompanying oxidation of low density lipoprotein in vitro. Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2001 Feb;128(2):153-64.
5. Tea catechin consumption reduces circulating oxidized low-density lipoprotein. Int Heart J. 2007 Nov;48(6):725-32.
6. Proximate, Mineral and Procyanidin Content of Certain Foods and Beverages Consumed by the Kuna Amerinds of Panama J Food Cmpstn & Anal 2001;14:553-563.
7. Resveratrol, a Polyphenolic Phytoalexin Present in Red Wine, Enhances Expression and Activity of Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase, Circulation. 2002;106:1652-1658, American Heart Association, Inc.

Myocardial Infarction
Green Tea
8. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate inhibits STAT-1 activation and protects cardiac myocytes from ischemia/reperfusion-induced apoptosis. FASEB J. 2004 Oct;18(13):1621-3. Epub 2004 Aug 19.
9. Possible contribution of green tea drinking habits to the prevention of stroke. Tohoku J Exp Med. 1989 Apr;157(4):337-43.
10. Protective effects of green tea catechins on cerebral ischemic damage. Med Sci Monit. 2004 Jun;10(6):BR166-74. Epub 2004 Jun 1.
11. Neuroprotective effects of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate following hypoxia-ischemia-induced brain damage: novel mechanisms of action. FASEB J. 2005 Feb;19(2):258-60. Epub 2004 Nov.
12. Antioxidants in chocolate. Lancet 1996;348:834.
13. Red wine, chocolate and vascular health: developing the evidence base, Heart 2008;94:821-823; doi:10.1136/hrt.2008.143909, British Cardiovascular Society
14. Cardioprotective effect of resveratrol, a natural antioxidant derived from grapes, Cardiovascular Research 2000 47(3):549-555; doi:10.1016/S0008-6363(00)00102-4, European Society of Cardiology
15. Mechanism of cardioprotection by resveratrol, a phenolic antioxidant present in red wine, Int J Mol Med. 2001 Jul;8(1):3-17. PMID: 11408943.

Coronary Artery Disease
Green Tea
16.. Effects of green tea intake on the development of coronary artery disease. Circ J. 2004 Jul;68(7):665-70.
17. Relation between green tea consumption and the severity of coronary atherosclerosis among Japanese men and women. Ann Epidemiol. 2000 Aug;10(6):401-8.
18. The green tea, a good choice for cardiovascular disease prevention? Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2004 Dec;54(4):380-94.
19. Antithrombotic activities of green tea catechins and (-)-epigallocatechin gallate. Thromb Res. 1999 Nov 1;96(3):229-37.
20. Flavonoid intake and coronary mortality in Finland: a cohort study. Brit Med J 1996;312:478-81. Hertog M, Kromhout D, Aravanis C, et al.
21. Dietary antioxidant flavonoids and risk of coronary heart disease: the Zutphen Elderly Study. Lancet 1993;342:1007-11. Hollman PC, Hertog MGL, Katan MB.
22. Role of dietary flavonoids in protection against cancer and coronary heart disease. Biochem Soc Transact 1996;24:785-9. 5 Rein D, Paglieroni TG, Wun T, Pearson DA, Schmitz HH, Gosselin R, and Keen CL.
23. Cocoa inhibits platelet activation and function Am J Clin Nutr 2000;72:30-5.
24. Dark Chocolate Improves Coronary Vasomotion and Reduces Platelet Reactivity, Circulation. 2007;116:2376-2382, American Heart Association, Inc
25. Cocoa inhibits platelet activation and function, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 72, No. 1, 30-35, July 2000, American Society for Clinical Nutrition
26. Resveratrol attenuates TNF- -induced activation of coronary arterial endothelial cells: role of NF- B inhibition, Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 291: H1694-H1699, 2006.

Blood Pressure
Green Tea
27. Epigallocatechin gallate, a green tea polyphenol, mediates NO-dependent vasodilation using signaling pathways in vascular endothelium requiring reactive oxygen species and Fyn. J Biol Chem. 2007 May 4;282(18):13736-45. Epub 2007 Mar 15.
28. Prevention of hypertension, cardiovascular damage and endothelial dysfunction with green tea extracts. Am J Hypertens. 2007 Dec;20(12):1321-8.
29. The protective effect of habitual tea consumption on hypertension. Arch Intern Med. 2004 Jul 26;164(14):1534-40.
30. Cocoa Reduces Blood Pressure and Insulin Resistance and Improves Endothelium-Dependent Vasodilation in Hypertensives, Hypertension. 2005;46:398-405, American Heart Association, Inc.

Lowering Bad Cholesterol
Green Tea
31. Relation of green tea consumption to serum lipids and lipoproteins in Japanese men. J Epidemiol. 1996 Sep;6(3):128-33.
32. Cholesterol-lowering effect of a theaflavin-enriched green tea extract: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med. 2003 Jun 23;163(12):1448-53.
33. Effectiveness of moderate green tea consumption on antioxidative status and plasma lipid profile in humans. J Nutr Biochem. 2005 Mar;16(3):144-9.
34. Penn State (2001, October 24). Cocoa And Dark Chocolate Show Positive Effects On Ldls – But Don't Shun Veggies. ScienceDaily.