The Tastiest Ounce of Prevention, Ever

Many previous times here we have brought you the happy news about the potential health benefits of chocolate. Now across the pond from the land of Cadbury (really, who doesn’t love those chocolate Easter eggs?) comes delicious news, presented at the recent European Society of Cardiology meeting. The study, published in the British Medical Journal[i], examined seven studies and over 114,000 people. The object was to look not just at heart attacks and stroke and such endpoints, but to also examine the risk of developing any cardiometabolic disorders that significantly affect the risk for such events as these. This includes the incidence of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Amazingly, the highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37% risk reduction in heart attack and a 29% risk reduction in stroke compared to the lowest levels of consumption. Of the studies examined, one Japanese study looked at the risk of developing diabetes, and found a 35% reduction in men and a 27% reduction in women in those who consumed more chocolate.

The studies were not randomized and did not differentiate between dark chocolate and milk chocolate. Previous studies had suggested greater benefit for those consuming dark, as opposed to milk, chocolate. There is always a risk of overindulgence from anything, but if an ounce of prevention this tasty is worth a pound of cure to treat diabetes, heart disease and stroke, well who wouldn’t sign up for that program?

[i] (Buitrago-Lopez, et al., 2011)