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Benefits of Chocolate

A new study is adding more research to the recommendation that chocolate may actually reduce cardiac risk. According to the European Heart Journal, in a study of nearly 20,000 people over eight years, the people who ate on average six grams of chocolate per day (this is about equal to a small square of a chocolate bar) decreased their risk of a heart attack or stroke by nearly 40 percent.

Researchers and previous studies suggest that it is the flavonoids found in the dark chocolate that in small amounts may be good for you. Flavonoids are also found in fruits and vegetables, green tea, and red wine. It is suggested that the flavonoids benefit the body by acting as antioxidants and they may also help to relax or dilate certain blood vessels which can help to lower blood pressure.

Dr. McCargar at Scottsdale Dental Arts wants to warn patients about the study “eating large amounts of chocolate can lead to weight gain which is a major risk factor for heart problems, strokes, and diabetes… not to mention cavities.” But, he does recognize the benefit of the study and the findings, “With Easter just around the corner, there will be plenty of chocolate in the house and with this added knowledge perhaps people will choose to eat the dark chocolate which has the most benefit according to this study. I think in moderation and with proper oral hygiene, chocolate can possibly be good for you and your heart.”