Skip to comments.Findings: Why Dark Chocolate Is Good for Heart Health
Posted on 11/17/2010 2:58:48 PM PST by decimon
Health recommendations from experts often include exercising more and eating more whole grains, but perhaps one of the more welcome advances in medical research has been the declaration that chocolate is good for us. Now, new research may help explain why indulging in the sweet treat helps our heart health.
Researchers from Linkoping University in Sweden have found that eating dark chocolate inhibits the action of an enzyme nicknamed ACE (formally known as the angiotensin-converting enzyme), which is involved the body's fluid balance and helps regulate blood pressure.
The results are based on a study of 16 brave volunteers, ages 20 to 45, who ate 75 grams (about 2 1/2 ounces) of dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 72 percent. Researchers led by Ingrid Persson, a pharmacology professor at the university, measured the level of ACE activity in the volunteers' blood before they ate the chocolate, and again 30 minutes, one hour and three hours afterward.
Three hours after eating the chocolate, the ACE activity in the volunteers' blood was 18 percent lower than before they gobbled the goodies - a change comparable to that of blood-pressure lowering drugs designed to inhibit ACE.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Lovely bunch of cocoa nuts ping.
This is an incomplete and misleading bit of information from these “researchers.” Anybody with Atrial Fibrillation knows that chocolate (probably due to its caffeine content) can easily throw one’s heart into A-fib which, if it gets into an uncontrolled run-away heart-rate, can be dangerous and even lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Unless they include this information in their research (haven’t read the full story, don’t have time), it is potentially unhelpful or even dangerous info—could be harmful for people to automatically assume eating a lot of chocolate will help their heart.
Godd news for my wife ping.
Good news for my wife ping.
They’re talking about 2.5 ozs, not ‘a lot.’ But every person should know what’s good for his/her heart and overall health, and a patient with a known heart condition should definitely consult with the doc before embarking on any variation to the diet.
Sigh. I guess I’ll have to keep forcing myself to eat the stuff. The only way I like it is if I can find it with practically no sugar.
It's a lot if the effect only lasts a couple of hours and has to be repeated several times during the day!
Be aware that chocolate is also very high in oxalates and can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. Eighty to ninety percent of all kidney stones are calcium oxalate stones.
Ping to interested parties...
Trader Joe’s carries several extra dark varietal chocolates.
Ghirardelli’s Midnight Reverie: 86%
Clearly I’m going to live forever.
My health conscious son has gotten into eating Ghiardelli’s 85 dark chocolate. It’s surprisingly high in dietary fiber. Who knew? I have a hard time getting thru one small piece.
But if someone has a known heart condition that could be negatively affected by any amount of chocolate, they really should take it up with the doc. That would be my issue.
I'll call BS first. A single 20mg dose of Benzazepril, the ACE inhibitor I happen to take will lower serum ACE levels by 90% for 24 hours. You would have to eat 4-5 times as much chocolate as in the test to get that effect.
Your bravery is inspirational. In fact, I'm inspired to seek out some chocolate.
I always think the human body is pretty smart and chocolate is one of those in born drives.
Oooo. I like that a lot.
The cocoa content is much lower than with dark chocolate.
I recently tried the dark chocolate thing, sugar free, of course, and quit because I can’t eat just one. That probably explains why I quit eating candy of any kind years ago. Sugar free candy should be regulated by the BATFE, as it is dangerously explosive, especially when not taken in extreme moderation. Anyhow, as long as I take my lisinopril and Metoprolol along with a little potassium, my blood pressure is great. If only I could manage my blood sugar that easily.
Thanks, Nully! I hate to say it, but chocolate has been my friend for many years, and truth be known, my cholesterol is around 160, my BP is around 112/65 and brain is AWESOME!!
The rest of me may be subject to scrutiny, however...
Oh, that’s almost criminal!!! SAVE THE CHOCOLATE!!!
And this is bad because....
I.. Uhhhh... *blush* nevermind
Do you do any excersise and if so what type? My gym is part of a hospital that deals with these issues and there is exercises and intensities (hit training etc)that specifically lower BS.
The secret to regulating your blood sugar is to remember never to eat carbs of any kind without first (or second) eating protein. Banana - cheese. Apple - egg. Pasta - (al dente) meat.
I’ve been hypoglycemic since I was a kid and I keep cheese, hard-boiled eggs and unprocessed meat on hand at all times.
Why? Because I love chocolate!!!
In certain airport security areas!
I use a stair stepper and work out on a good home gym, giving a good workout to the larger muscle groups. That helps the insulin do its job. I would swim every day, if I could afford it. As long as I stay on a protein diet, no fruits and limited, low starch vegetables I can keep it down, providing I stay under 2000 calories a day. I was once on insulin, metformin and glyburide, and it was difficult to get my blood sugar under 200. After a very bad surgery and a month or more of fasting, I managed to get it down to normal, and then I managed to work myself off of all the medications, and control it with diet and exercise. That lasted for about five years, and then my blood sugar started shooting up again. It hasn’t gotten as bad as it was, and I can control it until I do the least little thing wrong, like trying to add in a few fruits or breads or chocolate.
Well, I’m making a stop at the store before I got to work.
“But every person should know whats good for his/her heart and overall health, and a patient with a known heart condition should definitely consult with the doc before embarking on any variation to the diet.”
Of course. Good point. But sometimes it takes time to “catch on” to what can set off Atrial Fibrillation. Different things cause it in different people. It can be caused by wine, too much salt, too much sugar, MSG, coffee, chocolate, Coke, etc. etc. My point was that, unless the “research” mentions this (possibility that chocolate might trigger A-fib), the “findings” could be misleading and even harmful if people with A-fib do not realize that chocolate, especially DARK chocolate, contains a lot of caffeine and could trigger A-fib in them. Some people can tolerate “a little” A-fib; others freak out as soon as the old ticker starts to run amok. And the freaking out (adrenaline rush) only exacerbates the A-fib. People tend to hear what they want to hear, and a lot of people will automatically assume that “chocolate is good for the heart” and proceed to indulge/over-indulge; and some folks may find themselves in worse shape because of halcyon “research reports” like the one in this thread if they don’t proceed with caution and skepticism.
Hopefully, people will pay more attention to their own bodies (and doctors) than to superficial “research findings” in the news. Some of us can tolerate a Snickers bar (very little chocolate, and it’s not dark), whereas a Hershey bar (very dark) will very likely put us into severe A-fib and possibly the emergency room.