04/08/2010 - News

Large Study Shows Chocolate Lowers Cardiovascular Risk

By: June Chen, MD


In the largest observational study to date to examine the link between chocolate and the risk of cardiovascular disease, chocolate was found the lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. These findings were published online in the European Heart Journal.

Researchers from the German Institute of Human Nutrition sought to investigate the association between consumption of chocolate and blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. They studied 19,357 people aged 35-65 years who had no history of heart attack or stroke and were not taking any medications for high blood pressure. At the start of the study, participants underwent medical checks, including blood pressure measurements, and answered questions about their lifestyle and diet, including chocolate consumption. Study participants also responded to follow-up questionnaires every two to three years. During an average follow-up period of 8 years, the researchers found that average blood pressure was lowest among those people who ate the most chocolate. Cardiovascular risk reduction associated with chocolate consumption was stronger for stroke than for heart attack, with a nearly 47% lower risk.

Based on this large study, habitual chocolate consumption seems to lower the risk for cardiovascular disease. This risk reduction is explained only in part by reductions in blood pressure. Further research in randomized trials is needed to confirm the findings of this study, as well as to provide recommendations on the optimal amount chocolate consumption that maximizes cardiovascular risk reduction without contributing to obesity. Although this study did not differentiate among white, milk, and dark chocolate, the study authors recommend small amounts of dark chocolate as it is the highest in cocoa content.



Eur Heart J (2010). First published online 30 March 2010.


Created on: 04/08/2010
Reviewed on: 04/08/2010

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donnabrown09 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

That's true, Chocolate help to reduce our stress & cardio risk, Researchers have now discovered that eating 40 grams of dark chocolate daily can lower levels of stress hormones in the body. Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants that are beneficial to health. For more detail read medicine2life.com

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