Good excuses to keep having your daily dose of chocolate

23 02 2007

It seems that researchers at Johns Hopkins discovered the first biochemical analysis to explain why just a few squares of chocolate a day can almost halve the risk of heart attack death in some men and women by decreasing the tendency of platelets to clot in narrow blood vessels.”The chemical in cocoa beans has a biochemical effect similar to aspirin in reducing platelet clumping, which can be fatal if a clot forms and blocks a blood vessel, causing a heart attack,” says Diane Becker, a professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Becker cautions that her work is not intended as a prescription to gobble up large amounts of chocolate candy, which often contains diet-busting amounts of sugar, butter and cream. But as little as 2 tablespoons a day of dark chocolate – the purest form of the candy, made from the dried extract of roasted cocoa beans – may be just what the doctor ordered.

Researchers have known for nearly two decades that dark chocolate, rich in chemicals called flavonoids, lowers blood pressure and has other beneficial effects on blood flow. “Eating a little bit of chocolate or having a drink of hot cocoa as part of a regular diet is probably good for personal health, so long as people don’t eat too much of it, and too much of the kind with lots of butter and sugar,” says Becker.

“These results really bring home the point that a modest dietary practice can have a huge impact on blood and potentially on the health of people at a mildly elevated risk of heart disease,” says study co-author Nauder Faraday, an associate professor at Hopkins. “But we have to careful to emphasize that one single healthy dietary practice cannot be taken alone, but must be balanced with exercise and other healthy lifestyle practices that impact the heart.”

Si vols llegir aquest post en català, introdueix l’adreça web a http://www.translendium.com/

Si quieres leer este post en español, introduce la dirección web en http://www.translendium.com/

Advertisements