Is Chocolate Good for Your Heart?
Okay, so another vote for the benefits of eating chocolate every day. A new study, published in the journal Heart, now suggests that that eating 3.5 ounces of chocolate daily may be associated with lower risks of heart disease and stroke.
These findings are based on a meta-analysis of eight published studies comprising almost 158,000 people. Researchers from University of Aberdeen School of Medicine and Dentistry in Scotland found that people who regularly ate chocolate lowered their cardiovascular risk by 11 percent and their risk of stroke by 23 percent compared to people who did not consume chocolate.
However, the study came with many limitations. The researchers did not determine what in the chocolate may lower these risks or what the cause-and-effect relationship could be. One hypothesis is that the flavonols in chocolate have shown to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain, and reduce clotting. However, most of the participants in the study ate milk chocolate, which has fewer flavonols than dark chocolate. Therefore, the researchers believe it could be the calcium and fatty acids from the milk in the chocolate that could account for the health benefits.
But the study made no distinction between the types of milk chocolate consumed by the participants. Overall, the scientists recommended that the key made be to consume chocolate in moderation.