Document Type


Publication Date



Background and Aim: High salt diet and uninephrectomy are associated with high blood pressure with attendant cardiovascular disease conditions such as hypertension, renal damage, myocardial infarction, and stroke. The aim of this study was to investigate the beneficial effects of consumption of cocoa and cocoa-containing products in the management of high blood pressure in uninephrectomized hypertensive rats. Materials and Methods: The effect of cocoa powder on blood pressure, markers of inflammation, oxidative stress, and histopathology were investigated in uninephrectomized animals fed with cocoa feed alone or in combination with a high salt diet. Male rats were randomly divided into five groups: Group A was the control group and fed with normal feed alone, Group B was fed with cocoa feed alone, Group C was fed with high salt diet (8% salt), Group D was fed with cocoa-feed compounded with 8% salt for 4 weeks after uninephrectomy, and Group E was uninephrectomized rats on a normal diet. The left kidneys of animals in Groups C, D, and E were removed by surgery. After 4 weeks of treatment, the systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressure was measured. The serum markers of renal damage and oxidative stress were determined. Histological examination was also performed on renal and cardiac tissues. Results: Results showed significant increases in biomarkers of oxidative stress, inflammation, and renal damage with a concomitant decrease in antioxidant status in hypertensive uninephrectomized rats. Cocoa feed, however, significantly improved blood pressure and nitric oxide bioavailability, antioxidant status and reduced markers of inflammation and oxidative stress. Conclusion: These findings show that cocoa powder could be used to maintain blood pressure levels in hypertensive rats through its antioxidant capacity.