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October 2020 (Vol. 5 Issue 7)

Chocolate reduces heart attack risk
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Chocolate reduces heart attack risk image

Eating chocolate at least once a week is good for your heart. It helps keep the arteries healthy and reduces the chances of a heart attack.

The effect isn't dramatic—it reduces your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by just 8 percent—but there's definitively an association, say researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine.

Plenty of other studies have found that chocolate is good for the heart, but none had looked specifically at its effect on the coronary arteries, the ones that feed the heart. Using the data from six studies that had tracked more than 336,000 volunteers, the researchers discovered that the chocolate-eaters were less likely to develop coronary heart disease or suffer a heart attack.

Eating chocolate less than once a week didn't seem to have any protective effect.

"Chocolate contains heart healthy nutrients such as flavonoids, methylxanthines, polyphenols and stearic acid which may reduce inflammation and increase good (HDL) cholesterol," said lead researcher Chayakrit Krittanawong.

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(Source: European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 2020; doi: 10.1177/2047487320936787)

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