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Nutrition

Be Optimistic, Drink Cocoa

13 years, 2 months ago

1545  0
Posted on Mar 06, 2006, 8 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Men wanting to live longer may want to consider the findings from a couple of studies conducted among the Dutch. Results show drinking cocoa and having an optimistic personality reduce the risk of death.

Men wanting to live longer may want to consider the findings from a couple of studies conducted among the Dutch.

Results show drinking cocoa and having an optimistic personality reduce the risk of death.

In the first study, researchers followed 470 men between ages 65 and 84 for 15 years, looking at their cocoa intake and health status. By the end of the study, it was clear men who drank the most cocoa had the lowest blood pressure in the group. The authors attribute that finding to a certain chemical in cocoa linked to lower blood pressure. The men were also less likely to have died of any cause, even after investigators took other factors that could have influenced mortality into account.

Interestingly, cocoa appeared to protect against cardiovascular death, despite the man's blood pressure, suggesting other components of the drink -- including antioxidants -- may be coming into play.

The second study involved 545 men between ages 64 and 84 who underwent standard mental tests to determine their level of optimism in 1985, 1990, 1995, and 2000. Optimism was associated with about a 50-percent decreased risk of dying of cardiovascular causes.

The authors of this study say measuring optimism may be an easy way to assess cardiovascular risk in older men. They write, "Based on the present and previous findings, a low subjectively perceived level of optimism should be added to the list of independent risk markers for cardiovascular mortality in elderly men."

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/ .

SOURCE: Archives of Internal Medicine , 2006;116:411-417, 431-436

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