Healthy heart through chocolate

Healthy heart through chocolate

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Chocolate is said to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases
If you are a regular chocolate, you can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. This is what a team of researchers from Aberdeen wrote in the journal Heart. Their calculations showed that chocolate eaters had an eleven percent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and a 25 percent lower risk of dying from such a disease compared to chocolate abstainers. The researchers report that this should apply to both dark and whole milk chocolate.

Chocolate appears to be healthier than its reputation
Chocolate is actually considered an unhealthy fattener. In the past few years, however, there have been various studies that have also confirmed the delicious sweets to have positive health effects. For example, Swiss scientists demonstrated last year that black chocolate protects against stress. However, you have to be careful about some supposed news: It has only recently become known that journalists have published a fake study that says you stay slim when you eat a lot of chocolate. Neither the "Insitute for Diet and Health" that published a press release on the sensational diet, nor the study itself actually existed. The campaign was intended to draw attention to the gullibility of the media. However, scientists from Scotland are now reporting that people who consume a relatively large amount of chocolate are at less risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Lower blood pressure with higher chocolate consumption
As reported by the National News Agency of Switzerland (SDA), a team of researchers from the University of Aberdeen examined the data of 21,000 British people who participated in a large-scale study on the influence of nutrition (EPIC Norfolk study). In addition, further scientific work on chocolate and heart diseases was examined. It was found that among the participants in the EPIC study, those who consumed more chocolate had lower blood pressure, less inflammatory proteins in the blood and less frequent diabetes. Interestingly, as a study report said, higher chocolate consumption was also associated with a lower body mass index (BMI), higher physical activity, and younger age.

Lower risk of heart disease and stroke
The researchers now report in the journal “Heart” that the calculations showed that chocolate eaters were 11 percent lower in risk of cardiovascular diseases and 25 percent less likely to die compared to chocolate abstainers. On average, the EPIC participants were accompanied for twelve years; 14 percent of them suffered heart disease or stroke during this time. A fifth said they didn't eat chocolate at all, some said they ate up to 100 grams, and the daily average for all participants was seven grams. Even the highest chocolate consumption was found to have a 23 percent lower risk of stroke, even after other risk factors such as age or weight were taken into account.

Observational study says nothing about cause and effect
The team around Chun Shing Kwok indicated that it was an observational study that said nothing about cause and effect. For example, it is possible that people with a high risk of cardiovascular diseases generally eat less chocolate out of caution. In addition, amounts consumed in diet surveys are often underestimated. "Taken together, however, the data indicate that higher chocolate consumption is associated with a lower risk of future cardiovascular diseases," the scientists reported. According to the information, this relationship was found not only in the eating of black chocolate, but also in milk chocolate, which was consumed more frequently by the EPIC participants. The researchers speculate that this may indicate that not only antioxidant substances like flavonoids explain the connection with heart diseases, but also milk components such as calcium and fatty acids. "There doesn't seem to be any indication that people who are concerned about their cardiovascular risk should avoid chocolate," said the researchers. The study authors did not indicate any links with the chocolate industry. The study was funded by the Medical Research Council of the British government and the non-governmental organization Cancer Research UK. (ad)

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Video: Health benefits of Chocolate


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