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Table 1 Characteristics of trials included in the meta-analysis

From: Does chocolate reduce blood pressure? A meta-analysis

Trial; Location Study design; treatment/control groups Dosage; duration Active ingredients per daily dosage Mean age; mean BMI N treatment/control Mean SBP (SD) in mmHg at start/end of treatment versus control Mean DBP (SD) in mmHg at start/end of treatment versus control
Taubert et al. [10]; Germany Crossovera,b 100 g/d; 500 mg polyphenols 59.5 yr; 13/13 Cocoa: 153.4 (4.4)/148.6 (2.4); Cocoa: 84.5 (4.6)/82.9 (4.6);
  Dark/white chocolate 14 d   24.1   Control: 153.6 (4.4)/154.0 (3.6) Control: 84.2 (4.2)/84.5 (4.3)
Murphy et al. [15]; Australia Parallel; 6 tablets/d 234 mg flavanols; 43.5 yr; 13/15 Cocoa: 118 (13)/120 (12); Cocoa: 78 (12)/77 (10);
  High/low flavanol cocoa tablets 28 d Control: 6.4 mg 26.0   Control: 116 (9)/119 (8) Control: 76 (8)/76 (7)
Engler [11]; USA Parallel; 46 g/d; 213 mg procyanidins 32.1 yr; 11/10 Cocoa: 121 (17.9)/120 (13.3) Cocoa: 68.1 (8.3)/69 (6.6)
  High/low flavanoid chocolate 14 d   22.6   Control: 112.8 (8.9)/110 (6.3) Control: 66.1 (5.4)/66 (6.3)
Fraga et al. [12]; USA Crossovera; 105 g/d; 168 mg flavanols 18.0 yr; 27/28 Cocoa: 123 (11.2)/117 (7.5) Cocoa: 72 (7.5)/67 (7.5)
  Dark/white chocolate 14 d   24.1   Control: 123 (11.2)/121 (7.5) Control: 71 (7.5)/70 (7.5)
Grassi (normotensive arm) [13]; Italy Crossovera,b; 100 g/d; 500 mg polyphenols 33.9 yr; 15/15 Cocoa: 112.9 (8.5)/105.9 (6.6) Cocoa: 74.0 (5.7)/69.8 (4.5)
  Dark/white chocolate 15 d   22.6   Control: 113.2 (7.9)/112.7 (7.6) Control: 73.8 (5.5)/73.5 (5.3)
Grassi et al. (hypertensive arm [13]; Italy Crossovera,b; 100 g/d; 500 mg polyphenols 43.7 yr; 20/20 Cocoa: 141.3 (4.8)/129.3 (5.7); Cocoa: 92.4 (3.8)/84.6 (5.6);
  Dark/white chocolate 15 d   25.4   Control: 141.1 (5.4)/140.4 (4.6) Control: 91.8 (4.7)/91.2 (4.7)
Taubert et al. [16]; Germany Parallela; 6.3 g/d; 30 mg polyphenols 63.6 yr; 22/22 Cocoa: 147.7 (7.1)/144.8 (ng); Cocoa: 86.4 (4.1)/84.5 (ng);
  Dark/white chocolate 126 d (18 wk)   24.0   Control: 147.5 (8.0)/147.6 (ng) Control: 86.7 (3.8)/86.7 (n.g.)
Crews et al. [17]; USA Parallela; 37 g/d choc + 11 g/d drink; 754 mg proanthocyanins; 68.8 yr; 45/45 Cocoa: 126.8 (14.3)/123.3 (12.3); Cocoa: 74.2 (8.2)/73.7 (7.5);
  Dark chocolate + cocoa drink/low flavanol chocolate + drink 42 d (6 wk) Control: 41.1 mg 25.3   Control: 128.6 (14.3)/125.5 (12.7) Control: 75.0 (8.0)/74.4 (7.7)
Grassi et al. [18]; Italy Crossovera,b; 100 g/d; 1008 mg phenols 44.8 yr; 19/19 Cocoa: 141.1 (3.4)/137.3 (4.0); Cocoa: 91.2 (4.2)/87.3 (4.6);
  Dark/white chocolate 15 d   26.5   Control: 140.9 (3.4)/140.8 (3.5) Control: 91.1 (3.7)/90.9 (3.5)
Muniyappa et al. [20]; USA Crossovera,b; 31 g/d cocoa; 900 mg polyphenols; 51.0 yr; 20/20 Cocoa: 141 (13)/139 (9); Cocoa: 91 (13)
88 (9);
  High flavanol cocoa/low flavanol drink 14 d Control: 28 mg 33.2   Control: 141 (13)/140 (9) Control: 91 (13)/87 (9)
Davison et al. (nonexercise arm) [21]; Australia Parallel; 300 ml drink mix/d; 902 mg flavanols; 44.9 yr; 12/11 Cocoa: 124 (10.4)/122.1 (ng); Cocoa: 76 (6.2)/74.2 (ng);
  High flavanol cocoa/low flavanol drink 84 d (12 wk); Control: 36 mg 33.6   Control: 124 (5.97)/128.2 (ng) Control: 77 (5.0)/79.8 (ng)
Davison (exercise arm)[21]; Australia Parallel; 300 ml drink mix/d; 902 mg flavanols; 45.4 yr; 13/13 Cocoa: 126 (10.4)/127.1 (ng); Cocoa: 78 (8.7)/77.5 (ng);
  High flavanol cocoa/low flavanol drink 84 d (12 wk) Control: 36 mg 33.4   Control: 121 (13.0)/120.5 (ng) Control: 74 (5.8)/73.8 (ng)
Shiina et al. [22]; Japan Parallela; 45 g/d 550 mg polyphenols 29.8 yr; 20/19 Cocoa: 116.4 (12.7)/121.0 (12.7); Cocoa: 64.7 (11.7)/71.3 (10.8);
  Dark/white chocolate 14 d   22.6   Control: 121.6 (14.9)/125.6 (11.4) Control: 72.2 (13.8)/77.4 (11.6)
Ried et al. (phase 1) [23]; Australia Parallel; 50 g/d; 750 mg polyphenols 53.1 yr; 11/10 Cocoa: 135.0 (12.5)/133.1 (11.7)c; Cocoa: 83.6 (10.6)/84.5 (11.6);
  Dark chocolate/placebo pill 56 d (8 wk)   26.6   Control: 135.7 (12.4)/130.8 (18.3)c Control: 77.8 (8.6)/77.3 (10.0)
Monagas et al. [24]; Spain Crossover; 40g/d + 250 skim milk; control: 500 ml skim milk 495 mg polyphenols 69.7 yr; 42/42 Cocoa: 138 (26)/138 (16); Cocoa: 84 (13)/82 (13);
  Cocoa powder in milk/milk only 28 d   27.6   Control: 138 (26)/135 (24) Control: 84 (13)/81 (13)
  1. a7-day cocoa/flavanol-free run-in period.
  2. b7-day washout period before crossover.
  3. cMedian.
  4. BMI, body mass index; DBP, diastolic blood pressure; g/d, grams per day; mg; milligrams; ml, millilitre; N, number of participants; ng, not given; SBP, systolic blood pressure; SD, standard deviation; yr, years; wk, weeks