By Jill Brooke
Eating chocolate at least once a week is linked with a reduced risk of heart disease, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology.
Most dark chocolate is high in flavonoids, particularly a subtype called flavanols that are associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
The researchers did their homework. The research included a combined analysis of studies from the past five decades examining the association between chocolate consumption and coronary artery disease (the blockage of the coronary arteries). The analysis included six studies with a total of 336,289 participants who reported their chocolate consumption.
At last good news.
“Our study suggests that chocolate helps keep the heart’s blood vessels healthy,” said study author Dr. Chayakrit Krittanawong of Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.
“In the past, clinical studies have shown that chocolate is beneficial for both blood pressure and the lining of blood vessels,” he continued. “I wanted to see if it affects the blood vessels supplying the heart (the coronary arteries) or not.”
Compared with consuming chocolate less than once a week, eating chocolate more than once a week was associated with an 8% decreased risk of coronary artery disease.
The study didn’t say what brand of chocolate is best. Hershey’s. Godiva. Dark or Milk?
“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,” he said.
Nor unfortunately, did it say that it is healthy for your waistline. Especially if you are like me and need some chocolate at least once a day.
Ah well, you can’t have everything.