Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dark Chocolate is Good for the Heart!

Do you have a box of Valentine chocolates that you aren't sure you should eat? Well if they are dark chocolate then you are in luck! According to a literature review published earlier this month on complimentary medicine in cardiology- dark chocolate is a champion for heart health.
(Posted: 02/05/2010; Pharmacotherapy. 2010;30(1):109 © 2010 Pharmacotherapy Publications).
The literature review shows strong evidence that dark chocolate can prevent cardiovascular disease by decreasing CRP (C reactive protien) levels which is associated with inflammation and coronary artery disease. It has also been found to dcrease platelet reactivity and in one study lowered LDL-C by 6% and raised HDL-C by 9% over only a week of daily dark chocolate consumption!
It can help mitigate the endothelial inflammatory effects of smoking as well.
In one study of 22 heart transplant patients - significant coronary vasodilitation, decreased platelet adhesion, and improved coronary vascular function was seen only 2 hours after consumption of a Nestle Intense(70% cocoa content) Bar. A study of 44 adults with prehypertension found that daily dark chocolate consumptionr reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressures. It was also found to increase levels of S-nitrosoglutathione- a vasodilative nitric oxide.
While we know that dark chocolate has other health benefits- during Women's Heart Health month it is encouraging to see the evidence that a daily indulgence of dark chocolate is good for us! So enjoy your chocolate knowing that you are doing something good for your heart.

Di Giuseppe R, Di Castelnuovo A, Centritto F, et al. Regular Consumption of Dark Chocolate Is Associated with Low Serum Concentrations of C-Reactive Protein in a Healthy Italian Population. J Nutr. 2008;138:1939–1945.
Allen RR, Carson L, Kwik-Uribe C, Evans EM, Erdman JW. Daily Consumption of a Dark Chocolate Containing Flavanols and Added Sterol Esters Affects Cardiovascular Risk Factors in a Normotensive Population with Elevated Cholesterol. J. Nutr. 2008;138:725–731.
Hamed MS, Gambert S, Bliden KP, et al. Dark Chocolate Effect on Platelet Activity, C-reactive Protein, and lipid profile: A pilot Study. South Med J 2008;12(101):1203–1208.
Hermann F, Spieker LE, Ruschitzka F, et al. Dark chocolate improves endothelial and platelet function. Heart 2006;92:119–120.
Flammer AJ, Hermann F, Sundano I, et al. Dark Chocolate Improves Coronary Vasomotion and Reduces Platelet Reactivity. Circulation. 2007;116:2376–2382.
Taubert D, Roesen R, Lehmann C, et al. Effects of Low Habitual Cocoa Intake on Blood Pressure and Bioactive Nitric Oxide. A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA. 2007;298(1):49–60.


Julie Smith, MLS, AHIP said...

sign me up !! Thanks for the great info!

Anonymous said...

Nice topic. Very informative. I never imagined that dark chocolates can do such good benefits to the heart.

Thank you.


francieyogini said...

Wonderful topic - thank you. I am going to repost this, with credits, to my blog and link it back to yours. Please message me with any comments or concerns. Thanks for sharing!!


Ramalan Bintang said...

useful info .. thanks

Kidskrill said...

Nutritional bars that contains dark chocolate have always promised good health for us.

Cathy said...

Everything in moderation, dark chocolate sounds good and healthy

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This is a perfect notice for me because I love chocolates but I didn't know that dark chocolates were excellent for our heart, I had had to ovoid chocolates but now I'll begin to eating only dark chocolates.

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Paul Smith said...
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