Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chocolate may cut heart attacks

GOOD news for heart attack survivors:
Those who eat chocolate two or more times per week cut their risk of dying from heart disease about threefold, compared to those who never touch the stuff, scientists have reported.

Extracted from MY PAPER MONDAY AUGUST 17, 2009, A14 MY LIFESTYLE
(My Lifestyle Moment)

A new study, led by Dr Imre Janszky of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, is the first to demonstrate that consuming chocolate can help ward off the grim reaper if one has suffered an acute heart attack.

It seems that antioxidants in cocoa are a likely candidate” for explaining the life-saving properties, said Dr Kenneth Mukamal, a co-author of the study.

Antioxidants are compounds that protect against so-called free radicals, molecules which accumulate in the body over time, that can damage cells and are thought to play a role in heart disease, cancer and the ageing process.

In the study, Dr Janszky and colleagues tracked 1,169 non-diabetic men and women, 45 to 70 years old, in Stockholm County during the early 1990s, from the time they were hospitalised with their first heart attack.

Picture is obtained from

The participants were queried before they left hospital on their food consumption habits over the previous year, including how much chocolate they ate on a regular basis. They underwent a health examination three months after discharge and were monitored for eight years after that.

The incidence of fatal heart attacks correlated inversely with the amount of chocolate consumed.

The researchers caution that clinical trials are needed to back up the findings of their study.

In the meantime, however, a bit of chocolate may not be amiss, they suggest.