Chocolate May Reduce Irregular Heart-Rate Risk
A Danish study found that regularly eating chocolate seems to be associated with a lower risk for atrial fibrillation (Afib) — a type of irregular heart rhythm. The greatest benefit was observed with one serving (1 ounce or 30 grams) of chocolate per week for women and two to six servings per week for men. These amounts resulted in a 21 percent and 23 percent lower risk, respectively, according to researchers.
The study involved 55,502 participants — 29,100 women and 26,400 men — between the ages of 50 and 64. Study participants reported their usual weekly consumption of chocolate. Researchers also collected information about heart disease risk factors, including diet, exercise habits, and smoking history, and tracked medical data.
The study was observational, and researchers did not offer definitive recommendations on how much chocolate could be beneficial. Atrial fibrillation affects about 33 million people worldwide; one in four adults will develop the condition at some point. Afib increases the risk for blood clots, stroke, and heart failure.