It’s the news everyone wants to hear as they reach for that second row of chocolate mid-Wednesday morning: Eating chocolate regularly could be linked to heart health.
A study reported the findings that eating any kind of chocolate (not just dark!) could reduce the chance of having heart problems.
The study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology involved over 336,000 volunteers and examined the results of six studies which had been conducted over 50 years.
The results showed that eating chocolate in moderation, but more than once a week was linked to an eight per cent decreased risk of coronary artery disease, a condition where the blood vessels supplying the heart are narrowed or blocked.
Author Dr Chayakrit Krittanawong, of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, said the study suggests that chocolate helps keep the heart’s blood vessels healthy.
“In the past, clinical studies have shown that chocolate is beneficial for both blood pressure and the lining of blood vessels.
“I wanted to see if it affects the blood vessels supplying the heart (the coronary arteries) or not. And if it does, is it beneficial or harmful?
“Chocolate contains heart healthy nutrients such as flavonoids, methylxanthines, polyphenols and stearic acid which may reduce inflammation and increase good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol).
“Chocolate appears promising for prevention of coronary artery disease, but more research is needed to pinpoint how much and what kind of chocolate could be recommended.”
“The calories, sugar, milk, and fat in commercially available products need to be considered, particularly in diabetics and obese people.”