Eating Chocolate Can Lower Heart Risks: Researchers

Written by Michael Lambarde on Aug. 30, 2011

It has often been speculated that chocolate is good for the heart, but now researchers have seemingly confirmed it. Dr. Oscar Franco and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge say that people who eat chocolate have a smaller risk of getting heart disease and suffering a stroke.

Dr. Franco and his colleagues reviewed seven studies at the University of Cambridge, which included about 114,000 participants who may have or not may have had heart disease. The research then compared the group that had the highest consumption of chocolate versus the group that didn’t have as high as a consumption.

The results found that participants that said they had the highest consumption of chocolate had a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease, and had a 29% reduction in stroke compared to the participants that had the lowest levels of chocolate consumption.

Franco admits that further studies need to be carried out to test whether chocolate causes reduction in heart risks. He also cautions that eating too much chocolate may not be helpful because it is often very high in calories and sugar; eating too much of it can cause weight gain, an increased risk of diabetes, and heart disease. Instead, Franco suggests eating chocolate less in fat and sugar.

“Chocolate may be beneficial, but it should be eaten in a moderate way, not in large quantities and not in binges,” he said. “If it is consumed in large quantities, any beneficial effect is going to disappear.”

The results of the study were found in the British Medical Journal on Monday and the review was presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Paris.