Chocolate Linked to Lower Cardio Disease Risk – Consistency is the Key

Good news chocolate lovers, regular chocolate consumption may lower Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) risk. A new study has identified cocoa content and flavonoid amounts in some chocolate types as possible reasons for the link.

Researchers from the VA Boston Healthcare System found regular chocolate consumption was associated with an 8-12 percent lower risk of CAD among a group of veterans, with further work deeming the sweet treat’s consumption to have no effect on cardiovascular disease risk in veterans with type 2 diabetes.

“The amount of chocolate consumption needed to confer a lower risk of CAD varies across studies,” the team discovered.

“We observed, however, that any consistent chocolate intake of less than 100 grams per week was associated with a significantly lower risk of CAD among the veterans.”

The researchers began looking at data from participants enrolled in the Million Veteran Programme. These 188,447 enrolees, who were around 64 years of age and made up of 90 percent males, had completed a food frequency survey and were free of CAD at the time of survey completion.

Also including scientists from the Atlanta VA Medical Centre, the team noted the lower CAD risk seen in another study was similar to their observations in subjects consuming any consistent amount of chocolate compared with those who consumed less than 28.3 grams per month.

“The discrepancy in the minimum and maximum amounts of chocolate needed to observe an association with health effect might be clarified with future studies,” the research concluded.

“Studies that focus on cocoa content and flavonoid amounts in the types of chocolate consumed because these compounds can vary widely across different chocolates.”

Until further research is conducted it would appear best to stick with high-quality, darker varieties of chocolate that contain less sugar.