Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Carla S. Honselman


This study was designed to determine if dark chocolate helps lower blood pressure and if the concentration of the dark chocolate varies the result. Currently, one in four Americans has high blood pressure. The recommended treatment may include medicine or a diet referred to as DASH or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This study followed a within-subjects design having all participants receive each type of dark chocolate. Twenty-seven participants started the study to measure their blood pressure while consuming dark chocolate for a week at a time. Results showed that Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate did not lower blood pressure significantly over the span of a week. Ghirardelli's 60% Cacao Dark Chocolate was shown to statistically lower diastolic blood pressure after a week. The higher concentration of dark chocolate was the only one that had statistically significant results within the measure of blood pressure.