Chocolate may be good for heart, blood pressure

11:04, March 31, 2010      

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Chocolates are pictured during the opening of the Nestle Chocolate Centre of Excellence in Broc near Fribourg September 7, 2009. The Chocolate Centre of Excellence is dedicated to the research and development of chocolate products.

German researchers recently found having a moderate amount of chocolate may be good for blood-pressure control and therefore better protect the heart, according to a report published on European Heart Journal.

Researchers in German Institute of Human Nutrition conducted a study on more than 19,300 people.

Over a decade's study, they discovered that those who ate the most amount of chocolate, that is, an average of 7.5 grams a day, had lower blood pressure and a 39 percent lower risk of having a heart attack or stroke compared to those who had an average of 1.7 grams a day, the least among the subjects.

"Small amounts of chocolate may help to prevent heart disease, but only if it replaces other energy-dense food, such as snacks, in order to keep body weight stable," said Brian Buijsse, leader of the study.

But Buijsse warned those who may use the finding to indulge themselves with the sweets.

The researchers contribute the reason why chocolate seems to be good for people's blood pressure and heart health to flavanols in cocoa. Since dark chocolate has more cocoa, it is believed to have a greater effect.

Source: Agencies
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