Study strengthens case for heart benefit in chocolate

Friday, June 23, 2017 - 11:22 in Health & Medicine

Consuming moderate amounts of chocolate was associated with significantly lower risk of being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation — a common and dangerous type of irregular heartbeat — in a large study of men and women in Denmark led by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and in Denmark. The research was published last month in the journal Heart. “Our study adds to the accumulating evidence on the health benefits of moderate chocolate intake and highlights the importance of behavioral factors for potentially lowering the risk of arrhythmias,” said lead author Elizabeth Mostofsky, an instructor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Chan School and a postdoctoral fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Previous studies have suggested that cocoa and cocoa-containing foods — in particular dark chocolate, which has a higher cocoa content than milk chocolate — confer cardiovascular benefits, perhaps because of their high content of flavanols, which...

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