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'Chocolate is good for your heart': study

TT/The Local · 13 Aug 2009, 12:50

Published: 13 Aug 2009 12:50 GMT+02:00

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"If you are not overweight nor have diabetes I would not recommend against eating chocolate," said Imre Janszky, the physician who led the study at Karolinska Institute in Solna near Stockholm, to the TT news agency.

Smaller quantities grant lower levels of protection, but are still better than abstaining from the sugary treat, according to the study which is published in the September issue of the Journal of Internal Medicine.

The study followed 1,169 patients in Stockholm who had survived heart attacks and asked them questions about their lifestyles and food habits.

Earlier research had established a strong link between cocoa-based confections and lowered blood pressure or improvement in blood flow.

It had also shown that chocolate cuts the rate of heart-related mortality in healthy older men, as well as with post-menopausal women.

The study concludes that the lower the chocolate intake, the lower the protection against heart-related death, and it is the first to demonstrate the connection between chocolate and the health of heart attack patients.

Imre Janszky warns however that confectionery in general is not an elixir as the benefits appeared to only apply to chocolate.

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"We did not find any connection at all between the consumption of sweets generally and survival," he said.

Janszky also points out that the study is small and a lot more research is required to investigate the links. The researchers cautiously conclude that it is the antioxidants and other minerals present in cacao that are the source of the positive health benefits.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:29 August 13, 2009 by Nutcracker
Reminds me of a Woody Allen film where his character is awakened 200 years after being frozen in a lab experiment and he learns that scientists have discovered that chocolate is good for you and prolongs life. His reply: "I always knew there was a god."
18:51 August 13, 2009 by byke
KFC is good for FAT people .... it helps strengthen Dawins theory!
19:25 August 13, 2009 by Linuschibros
Is that why minority of girls suffer from heart attack? because they loves chocolate!
20:12 August 13, 2009 by Leprehcaun
It's hilarious that as soon as scientists finds a random thing that their test group has in common that immediately becomes the reason for it.

Is this actually true and if ti is, don't they mean dark chocolate and not just chocolate?
22:40 August 13, 2009 by The Traveller Returns
What a terrible photo, it's put me off chocolate for life.
08:24 August 14, 2009 by Nutcracker
Leprechaun: Yes, you're probably right: I'm guessing they mean chocolate that's at least 70% cocoa-solids in relation to lower milk/sugar content.
13:20 August 14, 2009 by DamnImmigrant
Yes! This has been a no brainer for a couple of years, ie that pure chocolate is really excellent for the body. Unfortunately, it is so bitter that few can eat it pure and so we add all this sugar which then turns the perfect food into junk food!

So here is my question; why is there no chocolate out there with artificial sweetener? Remove the sugar and you are back to the perfect food.

Yah, I know there are the "artificial sweetener will kill you" NUTS out there but I am not one of them.

In the mean time - Fight! Fight! - I think the Swedish milk chocolate is the BEST! Tried various Swiss brands and I was not impressed!
11:11 August 15, 2009 by brøklyn_bjorn
Raw cacao is the healthiest way to consume chocolate. Adding it in the form of powder or nibs to a fruit smoothie is one way to get past the bitterness. Also dipping a raw cacao bean in a little bit of pure unprocessed honey or agave nectar is another way to sweeten it up in a much healthier way than processed sugar.
16:52 August 15, 2009 by Greg in Canada
Old news. Dark chocolate is the best. Add some red wine and you're doing double good for your heart.
19:29 August 15, 2009 by dmccalla
As both of my parents died of heart disease, I make sure I get my 3 to 4 servings of dark chocolate a day. Just 3 servings of Xocai chocolate gives you 1000 flavenoid antioxidants. Clinical studies show you need 600-900 flavenoid to get the results. You won't find this in store bought chocolate. Even if it is 70 per cent cacao, it still is processed and contains harmful sugars. Xocai chocolate is cold-pressed, has no processed sugars, no added fats, no fillers, waxes nor caffeine. Just 3 servings are only 100 heart healthy calories - and it tastes so good you think you are doing something wrong. So when I feel like snacking, I grab my healthy chocolate. You can read about the difference between "bad" chocolate and "good" chocolate at www.mydrchocolate.com or www.cocoa101.com. Or you can call 888-813-2632 with any questions
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