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Daily dose of chocolate may cut heart disease risk

A daily nibble of dark chocolate may slash the risk of heart attacks and strokes by more than one-third, a study of 20,000 middle-aged Germans found.

Researchers tracked participants for a decade to unravel the ties between chocolate and heart disease. Eating just 6 grams of chocolate a day, or less than two Hershey's Kisses, could prevent 85 heart attacks and strokes in every 10,000 people over a decade, said Brian Buijsse, lead researcher of the study published yesterday by the European Heart Journal. The study involved healthy volunteers ages 35 to 65 with no signs of heart disease.

The report provides more evidence about the beneficial effects of chocolate, particularly the dark variety rich in cocoa and potentially protective flavonols, said Buijsse, of the German Institute of Human Nutrition. Chocolate seemed to have a more powerful effect than fruit and vegetables. But bingeing can lead to obesity, he said.

- Bloomberg News

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