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Chocoholics take heart!

Chocoholics take heart!

By Helen Potter

Yes, it is official, chocolate is good for you.  It may have been a truth acknowledged long ago that it made you feel better, but scientists have discovered that a few bites of dark chocolate a day could reduce the risk of blood clots and heart attacks.

This piece of good news for all of us who can't keep away from the sweet stuff comes courtesy of rebel participants in a survey for the effect of aspirin on blood platelet clotting. The study required subjects to refrain from eating chocolate for a whole day - a request that was just too much for some who disobeyed and indulged themselves. These 'chocolate offenders' were disqualified from the original study but the data from the 139 miscreants was studied to see how the chocolate affected their blood.

Researchers at The Johns Hopkins School of University Medicine found that those who ate the illicit chocolate were less likely to have their platelets clot in narrow blood vessels, just as those who took aspirin daily were.

Chocolate contains flavinoids, which lower blood pressure and have other beneficial effects on blood flow, but were thought only to be effective in amounts equivalent to eating several pounds of chocolate a day.

It's not all good news though - for beneficial effects the new recommended consumption is just two tablespoons of dark chocolate per day.

Lead researcher Diane Becker advised, "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."

To read more about Helen and view more of her articles click here

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29 Jul 2009
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