Chocolate is good for you, declares study (well, sort of)
Be it white, dark or milk, it's better to eat chocolate than to avoid it, concludes large-scale health study.
Just don't overdo it!Chocolate-lovers could be cutting their risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke, new research suggests.
Chocolate may be good for the heart, say scientists cautiously, following a large study whichfound that those who eat more of it are less likely to suffer heart disease and strokes.
Why chocolate-lovers should be better off than those who shun it is not altogether clear, however. While itcontains antioxidant flavonoids, known to be protective, it also contains sugar and – especially in the forms popular in the UK – milk powder, which are implicated in weight gain. Obesity is awell-established cause of serious heart problems.
Dieticians suggested that eating chocolate might be helpful because people find it relaxing.
The study was presented at the European Society of Cardiologymeeting in Paris and is published online by the British Medical Journal. It was undertaken by Dr Oscar Franco and colleagues from Cambridge University, who wanted to try to establish whether along-speculated association between chocolate-eating and lower heart disease was real.
The scientists carried out a review of all the relevant and most convincing evidence they could find – seven studiesinvolving more than 100,000 people. They compared the rates of heart disease in those who ate most chocolate with those who ate least.
Five of the seven studies found chocolate – eaten in a variety offorms, from sweet bars to chocolate biscuits and drinking cocoa – to be protective. They concluded that the "highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37% reduction in stroke comparedwith lowest levels".
The studies did not differentiate between dark, milk and white chocolate. They also found no effect on actual heart failure.
The authors are cautious about the results,...
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