A new study published in the Heart journal specified that eating milk chocolate every day is associated with a lowered risk of cardiovascular events. Dark chocolate flavanoid antioxidants have long been hailed for their beneficial effect in protecting against certain medical conditions.
The research participants consisted of 158,000 people from the EPIC-Norfolk study, which followed men and women in Norfolk, England for an average of nearly 12 years. Fourteen percent of participants experienced either a stroke or coronary heart disease.
In general researchers determined that consuming more milk chocolate was associated with a positive health impact including lower weight, waist-to-hip ratio, systolic blood pressure and inflammatory proteins; less incidence of diabetes and more physical activity. .
People who consumed more chocolate had an 11 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease and 25 percent lower risk of associated death. They also had a nine percent lower risk of hospital admission or death resulting from coronary heart disease , a 23% lower risk of stroke, a 25% lower risk of any episode of cardiovascular disease, and a 45% lower risk of associated death. In addition the inflammatory protein level throughout the body was measured, and those participants who ate the most chocolate had an 18% lower risk than those who ate the least.
The researchers specify that positive health benefits are dependent on the risk profile of the individual, including baseline weight and dose of chocolate intake.
Habitual chocolate consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease among healthy men and women, Chun Shing Kwok et al., Heart, doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2014-307050, published online 16 June 2015.