High Sugar Intake Radically Increases Risk of High Blood Pressure - Opposite Effect of Chocolate

Published: October 21, 2012

A study appearing in Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN) and reported on ScienceDaily.com in July 2010 showed that people who's diets were high in sugar intake were at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure — a significant risk factor for heart and kidney disease.

The dramatic rise in sugar consumption over the past century, particularly in the U.S., parallels the rise in hypertension over that same period of time.

In the study1, researchers analyzed data from a 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey that involved over 4,000 adult Americans who has no prior history of hypertension. The data showed that those who consumed 74 grams or more of sugar per day (an amount you could get from two and a half soft drinks) had as much as 77% higher risk for a high blood pressure reading of 160/100 mmHg.

On the Other Hand

An important point when cutting back on sugar? Keep enjoying your dark chocolate!

In a recent study2, those eating chocolate at least 5x week had a lower risk of heart disease than non-chocolate eaters. In this study, almost 5,000 adult participants in a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Family Heart Study showed an inverse association between chocolate consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease — with those who consumed chocolate 5 times or more each week exhibiting a whopping 57% reduced risk of CHD.


1"High Fructose Diet May Contribute to High Blood Pressure, Study Finds." Science Daily. July 2, 2010.

2"Chocolate consumption is inversely associated with prevalent coronary heart disease: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study," Djoussé L, Ellison RC, et al, Clin Nutr, 2010 Sep 19; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA).

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. His newest book (June 10, 2024) is You Can Heal From Long COVID. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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