New reseearch suggests dark chocolate, eaten daily, could help prevent fatal cardiovascular events.
Eating dark chocolate every day for 10 years could reduce the incidence of such cardiovascular events as heart attacks and strokes in those with metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, according to an Australian study.
The investigators developed a mathematical model to predict the health effects and cost effectiveness of daily dark chocolate consumption over 10 years. They performed a meta-analysis of several studies involving 2,013 people with high blood pressure and who met the criteria for metabolic syndrome.
Cardioprotective effects have only been demonstrated for dark chocolate (defined as containing at least 60 to 70 percent cocoa solids), and not for milk or white chocolate.
- For Hearts and Minds, Choose Chocolate
- Flavonoids in Citrus Prevent Stroke
- Chocolate: The Good, the Bad, and the Tasty
Study participants had no history of heart disease or diabetes and were not on medication to lower their blood pressure.
The researchers showed that, when study participants ate dark chocolate faithfully every day, daily dark chocolate consumption could prevent 70 non-fatal and 15 fatal cardiovascular events per 10,000 people treated over 10 years.