The Heart Benefits of Chocolate
I came across an article in the paper today on the evidence of heart benefits from chocolate. I think most of us have heard of the studies that have found a small amount of dark chocolate each day is good for your heart. This study was actually an analysis of studies, and I will tell you what it discovered.
But first, I would like to point out some of the advice given by the lead author of the study because it is important. His main point was that chocolate, like so many other things in life, should be eaten in moderation. It is incredibly likely that if you eat large amounts of chocolate, any health benefits contained in the chocolate are going to be canceled out.
An important aspect of this review of studies to point out is that none of the studies reviewed involved randomized controlled trials. These are the best types of studies to conduct, but also the most difficult, because researchers can control for one variable. Therefore, a cause and effect relationship can possibly be established. Possibly .
It is interesting that the newspaper article I read on the study mentioned this at the end of the short article. You will find this a lot with news articles reporting science. They go for the headlines first, and that often involves trumpeting up the findings of a study first followed by the details (the most important point if the details even make it into the article).
The piece of information being shouted by the article stated that “an analysis of studies including more than 100,000 subjects has found that high levels of chocolate consumption are associated with a significant reduction in the risk of certain cardiovascular disorders.”
These seven studies looked the consumption of a wide range of different chocolate. They included candies and candy bars, chocolate drinks, cookies, desserts and nutritional supplements. There were a lot of measures that linked the consumption of chocolate to lower rates of stroke, blood pressure, coronary heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions.
This report was published in the British medical journal BMJ. It showed that people in the group that ate the most chocolate had decreases of 37 percent in the risk of any cardiovascular disorder and 29 percent in the risk for stroke.
But again, keep in mind the limitation of the study. Plus we don’t know the specifics of the studies that were reviewed for this study. Remember that there are studies out there saying many different things and reporting contradictory conclusions when compared to each other. You have to keep in mind what good science is. From good science you will get good findings you can actually use.
In the meantime, a moderate consumption of chocolate is good for the soul. That is just my opinion. If you are on the paleo diet you may want to check out my paleo cookbook review to see if there are any chocolate recipes for you to try. For all those not following the paleo diet, you can certainly take a look at the paleo cookbook review as well. It is very worthwhile in my opinion. Just like eating a bit of chocolate every day.