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Good Day Health Topics
Enjoy! Chocolate Is Good For Your Heart
Enjoy! Chocolate Is Good For Your Heart
Sep-02-2011

Yes, it's true: a new study from BMJ.com finds that eating chocolate is no sin. In fact, it was associated with a 37% lower risk of developing heart disease.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for more than a quarter of all adult deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Doctors keep reminding us that much of that risk can be prevented by making heart-healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating a low-fat, high-fiber diet, quitting smoking and exercising.
Now the new study, which is a review of seven previous studies involving more than 100,000 people, suggests that eating chocolate could potentially offer some benefit too.
Dr. Oscar Franco and his colleagues from the University of Cambridge analyzed observational studies examining the association between chocolate consumption and cardiovascular outcomes. Five of the seven studies showed some benefit to eating chocolate. Overall, people with the highest chocolate consumption levels had 37% lower risk of heart disease and a 29% lower risk of stroke than those who ate the least chocolate.
It's not clear why, but some past studies have attributed chocolate's heart benefits to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help blood pressure and improve insulin resistance.
That's certainly happy news for chocoholics, but the researchers caution that the data do not confirm that eating chocolate necessarily leads to a healthier heart: randomized, controlled trials are needed to show that it's the chocolate - and not other factors that may be common to chocolate lovers, such as, say, a heart-healthy diet or higher physical activity levels - that actually causes a reduction in cardiovascular risk.

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Posted by Ken at 12:00 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

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