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Tags: chocolate | health | cocoa

Sweet New Health Finding on Chocolate

Thursday, 26 April 2012 11:04 AM EDT

An apple a day may not keep the doctor away, but a serving of dark chocolate just might.
New research by San Diego State University scientists has found dark chocolate -- which contains higher levels of flavanols than milk chocolate – reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure, blood flow and improving blood cholesterol levels.
The study, presented at the Experimental Biology 2012 scientific meeting in San Diego this week, involved 31 fortunate study subjects who were assigned randomly to consume either a daily serving (50 grams) of regular dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa), dark chocolate that had been overheated or "bloomed," or white chocolate (0 percent cocoa) for two weeks.
Researchers tracked the participants’ blood pressure, blood flow, cholesterol and glucose levels. They found those who consumed either form of dark chocolate had lower blood glucose and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL, the "bad" form) and higher high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL, the "good" form) levels.
Researchers cautioned that while dark chocolate can reduce the risk of disease, it must be eaten in moderation. "We had great compliance with our study subjects because everybody wanted to eat chocolate,” researchers observed. “We actually had to tell them not to eat more than 50 grams a day."
Chocolate has been part of the human diet for at least 4,000 years, the scientists noted. The typical American consumes more 10 pounds of it annually. Numerous studies have found it contains compounds called flavanols that have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions that reduce the risk of heart disease.
The new study sought to poinpoint why, and suggests a mechanism that may account for chocolate’s health benefits, researchers said.

© HealthDay

A serving of dark chocolate a day may keep the doctor away, new research shows.
Thursday, 26 April 2012 11:04 AM
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