Posted on Oct 11, 2010, 10 a.m.
Harvard Medical School (US) researchers report that frequent consumption of dark chocolate associates with a lower prevalence of coronary heart disease.
Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidant compounds, particularly flavonoids, and previous studies have demonstrated the food’s beneficial effects on blood pressure and endothelial function. Luc Djousse, from Harvard Medical School (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues studied the effects of total chocolate intake on coronary heart disease. The team studied 4,970 men and women, ages 25 to 93 years, surveying for frequency of dark chocolate consumption and assessing for the onset of coronary heart disease. The researchers found evidence suggesting an inverse association between frequency of chocolate consumption and coronary heart disease: specifically, consumption of chocolate more than five times a week was associated with 57% lower prevalence of coronary heart disease, as compared to those subjects who did not consume chocolate. The team concludes that: “These data suggest that consumption of chocolate is inversely related with prevalent [coronary heart disease] in a general United States population.”
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Luc Djousse, Paul N. Hopkins, Kari E. North, James S. Pankow, Donna K. Arnett, R. Curtis Ellison. “Chocolate consumption is inversely associated with prevalent coronary heart disease: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study.” Clinical Nutrition, 19 September 2010.