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More Good News on Chocolate

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 // Uncategorized

You may have seen this already in the newspaper if you still read those or seen it online/TV.  Here is the Journal Watch summary followed by a link to the original BMJ article and then the previous report on health benefits of chocolate in women.

Meta-Analysis: Chocolate Appears to Be Heart-Healthy
Higher levels of chocolate intake “seem to be associated with a substantial reduction in the risk of cardiometabolic disorders,” a BMJ meta-analysis reports.
Researchers examined seven observational studies, encompassing nearly 115,000 adult participants, that measured chocolate intake and cardiometabolic outcomes. Compared with the lowest level of chocolate consumption, the highest intake was associated with a roughly one third decrease in the risk for any cardiovascular disease or stroke. There was no benefit, however, with regard to heart failure.
The authors offer several cautions with their findings, including the fact that high levels of fat and sugar are found in most commercial preparations of chocolate. They also note that the present evidence only points to an association between chocolate and heart health.

Here is the link to the original British Medical Journal link.http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d4488.full

Moderate Chocolate Consumption Linked to Lower Risk for Heart Failure in Women

Moderate chocolate consumption might lower a woman’s risk for heart failure (HF), according to a study in Circulation: Heart Failure.

More than 30,000 middle-aged and older Swedish women without histories of diabetes, HF, or myocardial infarction completed food-frequency questionnaires and then were followed for roughly 9 years. During that time, 1.3% were hospitalized for, or died from, HF.

Compared with women who didn’t eat chocolate, those who consumed one to three servings a month had about a 25% reduction in HF risk, while those who consumed one to two servings a week had a 30% risk reduction. Higher intake did not appear to have a protective effect.

The authors point out that chocolate is a good source of flavonoids, which might improve cardiovascular risk factors. They note, however, that chocolate consumed in the U.S. likely contains less cocoa (known to be cardioprotective) than that consumed by women in this study.

So for those who want some justification for their chocolate like they want for their glass of wine, bon appetit!  Don’t overindulge in either.

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