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Chocolate, Chocolate, It's Good For Your Heart, Study Finds
NPR ^ | June 19, 2015 5:03 AM ET | Allison Aubrey

Posted on 06/22/2015 1:32:58 PM PDT by Red Badger

Here's a sweet notion: Eat a little chocolate each day and you could be doing your heart a favor.

A new study published in the journal Heart found that habitual chocolate eaters had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes compared to people who didn't eat chocolate.

So, what is it about chocolate that could possibly lead to such a benefit? Well, when you strip out the sugar and milk that's added to chocolate, you're left with the cocoa bean. And it's the compounds in the cocoa that researchers are most interested in.

The study is part of a growing body of evidence that suggests the bioactive plant compounds found in cocoa beans, called polyphenols, may help protect against heart disease.

"What we're learning is that polyphenols ... seem to improve the health of our blood vessels," says Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

As part of the new study, researchers tracked about 20,000 adults in England for some 12 years. Participants filled out food-frequency questionnaires. And the researchers gauged chocolate consumption from these surveys.

How much better did the chocolate eaters fare when it came to staving off heart disease? As Howard LeWine of the Harvard Health Blog calculates: "Among those in the top tier of chocolate consumption, 12 percent developed or died of cardiovascular disease during the study, compared to 17.4 percent of those who didn't eat chocolate."

The reduction in risk is surprising, according to study author Phyo Myint of the University of Aberdeen. As part of the analysis, the chocolate eaters were broken down into groups based on how much they ate — from the heaviest consumers of chocolate to those who ate the least. "The group with the greatest benefit generally ate 16 to 100 grams per day," Myint writes in an email. To put that into perspective, a standard-size Hershey bar has 43 grams.

Now, the rub with this kind of study is that the link between chocolate and health is just an association. "It doesn't prove a cause-and-effect relationship between chocolate and reduced risk of heart disease and stroke," says JoAnn Manson, chief of the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Manson and a group of other researchers are about to launch a large-scale clinical trial of the polyphenols — those bioactive compounds — in the cocoa bean.

"We'll be testing them in a capsule form," Manson says. "So, [none of] the sugar, fat and calories" that you get from a candy bar.

Now, if you're like me and don't like the idea of chocolate pill, keep savoring chocolate the old-fashioned way.

"Chocolate can be part of a healthy diet," Manson says. But don't overdo it. And stay tuned, Manson says, for the findings of new research intented to unravel this connection between cocoa and our health.


TOPICS: Health/Medicine; History
KEYWORDS: anasazi; chocolate; chunky; hershey; mayans; stroke; sugar
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There's a growing body of evidence suggesting that compounds found in cocoa beans, called polyphenols, may help protect against heart disease. Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

1 posted on 06/22/2015 1:32:58 PM PDT by Red Badger
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To: Red Badger
...the more you eat
the more you
oops, that's another food.
Sorry
2 posted on 06/22/2015 1:35:49 PM PDT by gov_bean_ counter
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To: Red Badger

(Over-the-transom e-mail)
Your age by Chocolate Math

Don’t tell me your age;
you’d probably lie anyway,
but the Hershey Man will know!

YOUR AGE BY CHOCOLATE MATH

This is pretty neat.

DON’T CHEAT BY SCROLLING DOWN FIRST!
It takes less than a minute.
Work this out as you read.
Be sure you don’t read the bottom until you’ve worked it out! This is not one of those waste of time things,
it’s fun.

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have chocolate (more than once but less than 10)

2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)

3. Add 5

4. Multiply it by 50 — I’ll wait while you get the calculator

5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1765.... If you haven’t, add 1764 .

6... Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.

You should have a three digit number

The first digit of this was your original number
(i.e., how many times you want to have chocolate each week).

The next two numbers are

YOUR AGE.! !
— Oh YES, it is..!! —


3 posted on 06/22/2015 1:37:08 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: Red Badger

yay.........

how’s that cure coming?

diabetes?
cancer?

the common cold?

Cynically,
KYPD


4 posted on 06/22/2015 1:38:05 PM PDT by petro45acp (Grubbers "stupid" electorate is starting to look very much like Romney's 47%. Just sayin...)
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To: Red Badger

To get the value, eat dark chocolate without a lot of sugar in it. I have been eating Endangered Species 70% dark chimp chocolate, which I get out our local co-op. The price is very reasonable, too.

Here’s an on-line version:

http://www.vitaminshoppe.com/p/endangered-species-chocolate-co-supreme-dark-chocolate-12-bars/e2-1004#.VYhzJMvbIkI


5 posted on 06/22/2015 1:40:50 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Red Badger

The article conveniently fails to say who funded the university to conduct the study.


6 posted on 06/22/2015 1:45:32 PM PDT by aimhigh (1 John 3:23)
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To: aimhigh

Hershey, Mars and Nestle?........................


7 posted on 06/22/2015 1:45:59 PM PDT by Red Badger (Man builds a ship in a bottle. God builds a universe in the palm of His hand.............)
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To: aimhigh

http://heart.bmj.com/content/early/2015/05/20/heartjnl-2014-307050.short?g=w_heart_ahead_tab


8 posted on 06/22/2015 1:47:25 PM PDT by Red Badger (Man builds a ship in a bottle. God builds a universe in the palm of His hand.............)
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To: Red Badger
Does an ordinary Hershey's milk chocolate bar have the same benefit?

9 posted on 06/22/2015 1:48:34 PM PDT by minnesota_bound
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To: minnesota_bound

“The group with the greatest benefit generally ate 16 to 100 grams per day,” Myint writes in an email. To put that into perspective, a standard-size Hershey bar has 43 grams.


10 posted on 06/22/2015 1:50:48 PM PDT by Red Badger (Man builds a ship in a bottle. God builds a universe in the palm of His hand.............)
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To: gorush

That was a little scary.


11 posted on 06/22/2015 1:55:55 PM PDT by grimalkin (We are a nation under God. If we ever forget this, we are a nation gone under. -Ronald Reagan)
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To: Red Badger

Black coffee & chocalate. Good for you.
I can deal with that.


12 posted on 06/22/2015 2:09:26 PM PDT by vpintheak (Call the left what they are - regressive control-freaks)
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To: Red Badger
Chocolate is a bean.

A bean is a vegetable.

Ergo - chocolate is good for you.

QED

13 posted on 06/22/2015 2:15:36 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: aimhigh; MinuteGal; All
The article conveniently fails to say who funded the university to conduct the study.

Who cares? It's the finding that's important!
I agree with every word!

Now...excuse me while I have some more chocolate

14 posted on 06/22/2015 2:16:06 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (Warning! This Is A Subliminal Tagline! Read it at your own risk!(Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: Red Badger

I have 2 or 3 a day so that means I either live a long long time or my my arteries are getting clogged.
Oh my left arm hurts for some reason....
I better eat more cashews.


15 posted on 06/22/2015 2:26:41 PM PDT by minnesota_bound
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To: Billthedrill

Beans are actually fruits.

Just sayin’


16 posted on 06/22/2015 2:31:36 PM PDT by RandallFlagg ("When you have to shoot, SHOOT! Don't talk." --Tuco)
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To: RandallFlagg
Well fruits are good fer ya too!

Next thing you're gonna tell me is that bacon isn't a vegetable.

17 posted on 06/22/2015 2:37:05 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Billthedrill

LOL!! Good one!


18 posted on 06/22/2015 2:38:28 PM PDT by RandallFlagg ("When you have to shoot, SHOOT! Don't talk." --Tuco)
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To: Red Badger

I’ll drink to that!


19 posted on 06/22/2015 3:21:44 PM PDT by left that other site (You shall know the Truth, and The Truth Shall Set You Free.)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

We knew this, but its always enjoyable to have your opinion confirmed!


20 posted on 06/22/2015 5:59:11 PM PDT by Pete from Shawnee Mission ("By means of the chocolate trade, the Terrans conquored and ruled the local galaxy....")
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