Holiday Chocs ‘Good for Heart’

If you’re feeling guilty because you’ve been snacking on holiday chocolate treats, don’t. New research shows you are giving your heart protection against attacks – just as long as you are not already overweight or diabetic.

Eating chocolate two or three times a week cut the risk of dying from heart disease nearly three fold in a group of heart attack survivors studied by Swedish scientists.

The researchers concluded eating chocolate led to lower blood pressure and reduced chance of dying of heart disease.

Chocolate ‘Prevents Death’

Of the 1,169 patients (aged 45 to 70) studied, those who ate chocolate two or more times a week cut their risk of dying from heart disease nearly threefold compared to those who didn’t eat chocolate at all, said the study’s lead author, Dr. Imre Janszky of Karolinska Institute.

Jansky’s study also suggested antioxidants in cacao cut the risk of death from heart disease in healthy older men and post-menopausal women.

The research, published in the September 2009 issue of the Journal of Internal Medicine. is believed to be the first study that demonstrates that chocolate can help prevent death in heart attack survivors.

Some Chocolate Better than None

The study suggested smaller quantities of chocolate granted lower levels of heart protection, but were still better than not eating it at all.

The research built upon earlier work which suggested a strong link between cocoa-based products and improvement in blood flow.

 

 

 

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