Navigation Links
Dark Chocolate May Harbor Benefits for the Heart
Date:3/24/2011

THURSDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- If you can handle the fat and calories, there may be a health benefit to enjoying dark chocolate on occasion. New research suggests that the cocoa ingredient may lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels while preventing diabetes and improving the health of blood vessels.

So why not chow down on a candy bar or two every day? Here's the rub: Scientists aren't sure whether the downsides of cocoa consumption -- such as potential obesity -- could outweigh the benefits.

The research relied on mostly sugar-free dark chocolate, not the kind of chocolate normally found on the candy shelves. Participants who ate the chocolate, which contained cocoa rich in substances known as polyphenolic flavonoids, did better in several areas, including blood pressure. Levels of bad cholesterol went down in those younger than 50, and levels of good cholesterol went up.

The findings, which came from an analysis of data from 21 high-quality studies that included a total of 2,575 participants, were scheduled for presentation Wednesday at an American Heart Association conference in Atlanta. Experts note that research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary because it has not been subjected to the rigorous scrutiny given to research published in medical journals.

It remains unclear, the researchers said, as to just why chocolate appears to have the effect that they found. It's also not known how much people would need to eat to get the benefits.

Then there's the cocoa itself, another possible complication.

"The research looks at the benefits of cocoa and used a very specifically prepared cocoa," said Lona Sandon, assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. "Cocoa is an ingredient of chocolate. How the cocoa is processed makes a difference in whether or not the chocolate drink or bar it is contained in will have health benefits."

"In other words, not all chocolate or cocoa is created equal," she said.

Though chocolate in moderation may be fine for many people, Sandon said, there are better and healthier ways to boost heart health.

"Weight loss is king when it comes to preventing high blood pressure and improving insulin resistance," she said. "I do not see cocoa having the power to overcome poor health habits."

However, she said, there are ways to add cocoa to the diet that may keep fat and calories under control -- such as drinking hot cocoa with skim milk, adding dark cocoa powder to the top of a cappuccino and using cocoa powder in recipes.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information on heart disease.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCES: Lona Sandon, R.D., assistant professor, clinical nutrition, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas; presentation, March 23, 2011, American Heart Association Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism Conference 2011 and 51st Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention Annual Conference, Atlanta.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New explanation for heart-healthy benefits of chocolate
2. Confectionery and chocolate engineering: Principles and applications
3. Moderate chocolate consumption linked to lower risks of heart failure
4. Small Amounts of Dark Chocolate May Guard Against Heart Failure
5. Many Patients Say No to Chocolate As Medicine
6. eMindful Provides a New Twist on Chocolate for Members of Boston's Beacon Hill Village
7. Ingredient in Dark Chocolate Could Guard Against Stroke
8. Super Fat-Melting Chocolate Recipe Revealed
9. How dark chocolate may guard against brain injury from stroke
10. Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
11. A Little Chocolate May Do the Heart Good
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Dark Chocolate May Harbor Benefits for the Heart
(Date:4/29/2016)... Georgia (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... On ... rural hospitals across the Southeast, celebrated the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal on SB ... Rep. Geoff Duncan (R - Cumming), offers a 70% tax credit to individuals and ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... Fort Stewart, GA (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... on Monday, May 16, 2016, at its new location in the Exchange Furniture Mall ... including a raffle for a 50-inch Samsung Smart TV. Plus attendees will have the ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... World Patent Marketing , ... exercise invention which aids in proper muscle development. , "The Gym & Exercise ... Director of World Patent Marketing. "Globalization has threatened the future growth of the ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... Reltok Nasal ... and products for the head and neck/ear, nose and throat specialty, has added the ... The KOTLER NASAL AIRWAY™ is a newly patented safety device secured by ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... CURE ... entirely on patients with cancer, today announced that Lynne Malestic, RN, of Eisenhower ... 2016 CURE® Extraordinary Healer® for Oncology Nursing , which honors nurses who have ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... April 28, 2016  The blood testing market in ... according to Kalorama Information and The Freedonia Group in ... nucleic acid testing.  The healthcare research firm said that ... developing blood collection stations and in improving testing at ... Information,s report, Blood Testing Market in China ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 28, 2016 Dr. Vivek Ahuja ... and Ste phen Schmidt ... leading provider of cloud-based software solutions for life sciences, today announced ... bring a wealth of insight to a growing business.  This will ... George Phillips joined ArisGlobal in the position of ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... April 28, 2016  ValGenesis, Inc., the ... Solutions (VLMS) today announced that a prominent ... sufferers of chronic kidney failure has selected ... their corporate validation process. The global medical ... solution to manage their validation processes electronically. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: