Skip to comments.Chocolate, Chocolate, It's Good For Your Heart, Study Finds
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.
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
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,
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..!! —
how’s that cure coming?
the common cold?
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:
The article conveniently fails to say who funded the university to conduct the study.
Hershey, Mars and Nestle?........................
“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.
That was a little scary.
Black coffee & chocalate. Good for you.
I can deal with that.
A bean is a vegetable.
Ergo - chocolate is good for you.
Who cares? It's the finding that's important!
I agree with every word!
Now...excuse me while I have some more chocolate
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.
Beans are actually fruits.
Next thing you're gonna tell me is that bacon isn't a vegetable.
LOL!! Good one!
I’ll drink to that!
We knew this, but its always enjoyable to have your opinion confirmed!
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