Isn’t this what we’ve all been waiting to hear? The latest headline states
Chocolate 'cuts death rate' in heart attack survivors
Heart attack survivors who eat chocolate two or more times per week cut their risk of dying from heart disease about threefold compared to those who never touch it, scientists have recently reported.
Smaller quantities confer less protection, but are still better than none, according to the study, which appears in the September issue of the Journal of Internal Medicine.
Earlier research had established a strong link between cocoa-based confections and lowered blood pressure or improvement in blood flow.
It had also shown that chocolate cuts the rate of heart-related mortality in healthy older men, along with post-menopausal women.
However, the new study, led by Imre Janszky of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, is the first to demonstrate that consuming chocolate can help ward off the grim reaper if one has suffered acute myocardial infarction which is otherwise known as a heart attack.
The researchers found it was specific only to chocolate. It appears that antioxidants in cocoa are probably the reason for the life-saving properties.
Antioxidants are compounds that protect against so-called free radicals, molecules which accumulate in the body over time that can damage cells and are thought to play a role in heart disease, cancer and the aging process.
In the study 1,169 non-diabetic men and women, 45-to-70 years old, in Stockholm County during the early 1990s from the time they were hospitalised with their first-ever heart attack were tracked. The participants were queried before leaving hospital on their food consumption habits over the previous year, including how much chocolate they ate on a regular basis.
They underwent a health examination three months after discharge, and were monitored for eight years after that. The incidence of fatal heart attacks correlated inversely with the amount of chocolate consumed.
The findings supported increasing evidence that chocolate is a rich source of beneficial bioactive compounds. The results held true for men and women, and across all the age groups.
Other factors that might have affected the outcome such as alcohol consumption, obesity, and smoking were also taken into account.
So should we all be loading up on cocoa-rich sweets?
Of course there has to be caution due to the weight factor but chocolate should be considered as a healthier dessert. Chocolate is not limited in people with no weight problems.
There is still more research to be carried out but in the meantime, however, a bit of chocolate may not be amiss, they suggest.
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