Dark Chocolate Could Protect the Heart

A new scientific study will likely make chocoholics a whole lot happier. The study suggests that people who eat dark chocolate each day for 10 years could help reduce the risk strokes and heart attacks in patients who are high-risk.

Australian researchers used a complex mathematical model in order to predict the health impact over the long term of consuming dark chocolate daily for over 2,000 people who had the condition metabolic syndrome. The syndrome makes a person more susceptible to heart disease.

The best-case scenario found by the team was if no day was missed by any patient, the treatment could avert 15 fatal and 70 non-fatal strokes or heart attacks per every 10,000 people over a period of 10 years.

The study also suggested that only an annual cost of $40 would mount an effect strategy of dark chocolate consumption to prevent heart attacks or strokes. The work by the researchers was published Friday and stressed that protective effects have only shown to appear in dark chocolate that contains a minimum of 60 to 70% cocoa. That rules out white or milk chocolate. One reason could be the higher number of flavonoids found in dark chocolate.

Health experts said caution must be taken, as this is only a hypothetical study not a proven one and that consuming chocolate each day for a decade, could have adverse consequences that are unintended. The increased caloric and sugar intake could affect patients negatively who are glucose intolerant and overweight to start with.