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chocolate
diabetes risk
stroke risk
eating chocolate
chocolate lovers
valid questions
calorie count
portion size
Is Chocolate The New Wonder Drug?
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Is Chocolate the New Wonder Drug?

Several studies have chocolate lovers rejoicing and those who have been turning their noses up at the treat may be heading back to have a taste. One of the latest, a meta analysis, was led by Dr. Oscar H. Franco, from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge in the UK. That study has shown a definite link between chocolate and the prevention of heart disease as well as a reduced risk of diabetes.

But, Dr. Franco was quick to point out that this is only the first step in the process and clinical trials will be needed to answer a number of valid questions about chocolate consumption. For instance, the type of chocolate that provides the most benefits as well as the portion size will have to be determined. There are also a number of other factors that will have to be ruled out for chocolate to be given the green light. Regardless, chocolate in most easily or commonly consumed forms includes dairy, fat and additional sugar so should only be consumed in moderation, accounting for its calorie count in the daily diet. Dr. Franco warns that people who are not currently eating chocolate should not take this information as a reason to begin eating it, nor should they think that just because there is a potential for some health benefits that it negates any of the calories contained in the chocolate.

Dr. Franco studies seven different studies overall, reading information for over 100,000 people to draw his initial conclusions which included a nearly forty percent reduction in the risk of heart disease and a thirty percent drop in diabetes risk for those who could be described as eating the most chocolate. Stroke risk was lowered by nearly thirty percent as well. None of these benefits were seen in people who described themselves as eating the smallest amount of chocolate per week.

Dr. Greg Fonarow, the Professor of Cardiology at the University of California of Los Angeles explains that chocolate has compounds called flavonoids which provide a number of health related benefits including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting properties. Chocolate may also allow the blood vessels to relax. That relaxing of the vessels can lower the blood pressure which in turn can reduce the risk of heart disease. Chocolate has not been found to have any effect on congestive heart failure.

In the 16th Century, Montezuma drank a chocolate drink, believed by the Aztecs to be a divine gift from the gods themselves, giving strength, vitality and energy. In the modern time, chocolate is available in a number of different forms and with varying levels of cacoa content. The higher that number, the more pure cocoa flavonoids are present, lending more of the healthful benefits to the chocolate creation. Dark chocolate seems to be the type that is getting the most attention, including a Swiss study that showed how it worked to decrease the amount of plaque that was allowed to form in the arteries.


Street Talk

Thanks for your information. Very helpful I will start looking for a higher Cacoa content.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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