Excellent news for chocolate addicts! High doses of chocolate may considerably lower risk of cardiovascular disease and associated mortality, a new study suggests. And it is not just about dark chocolate. Milk chocolate was also found to have health benefits despite its high content in sugar and fats.
The new study was published this week by a team of British nutritionists in the journal BMJ Heart.
Researchers assessed the cardiovascular health in more that 21,000 adults ages 39-70 and surveyed their daily chocolate eating habits. To their surprise, participants who ate 15 to 100 grams of any type of chocolate per day had a 11 percent lower chance of developing a heart disease and a 25 percent chance of dieing from such disease or stroke.
The findings remained consistent after several adjustments for risk factors such as age, sex, smoking, substance abuse, fitness level BMI and so on.
“Our study concludes that cumulative evidence suggests higher chocolate intake is associated with a lower risk of future cardiovascular events,”
said Dr. Phyo Myint from the University of Aberdeen Institute of Applied Health Sciences.
But there were more health benefits in study participants that indulged in high doses of chocolate on a daily basis. They had lower BMI, blood pressure, and inflammatory agents in their blood stream.
Chocolate lovers seemed younger and were more engaged in physical activities, researchers noted.
But before gorging on your favorite chocolate bars you should know that study authors only found a link between large amounts of chocolate and healthy heart. It wasn’t a cause-and-effect link, though.
Researchers admitted that food questionnaires are often biased because respondents fail to properly recall the amount and frequency of eating chocolate. And some times the figures may be underestimated.
And there may be the reverse cause and effect – people prone to heart disease may watch their health and remove milk chocolate from their daily diet.
But scientists found that their study was consistent with past research. Older studies had shown that chocolate may reduce risk of heart disease and stroke by up to 25 percent and risk of associated mortality by up to 45 percent.
The research team believes that both milk chocolate and dark chocolate display hea;th benefits because they are rich in flavonoids, milk and fatty acids that may protect the cardiovascular system.
Flavonoids protect the inner lining of blood vessels, keep them tender, lower blood pressure and improve blood flow. Flavonoids are also very active anti-aging agents, studies suggest.
Image Source: Globe Views
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