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Regular, But Not Daily, Consumption Of Cocoa-Rich Chocolate Lowers Risk Of Heart Failure

August 17, 2010: 07:39 AM EST

A nine-year study involving nearly 32,000 middle-aged and elderly Swedish women found that those who frequently ate cocoa-rich chocolate were less likely to suffer from heart failure. The data came from health questionnaires that also included questions about dietary habits. According to the study, the women who ate an average of one or two servings a week of cocoa-rich chocolate had a 32 percent lower risk of developing heart failure. Women who ate one or two servings a month had a 26 percent lower risk. However, one serving of cocoa-dense chocolate a day provided no protection from heart failure, probably because of the added calories gained from replacing nutritious foods with chocolate. Further research is needed to determine the optimum dose of chocolate, the researchers said.

Elizabeth Mostofsky; Emily B. Levitan; Alicja Wolk and Murray A. Mittleman, "Chocolate Intake and Incidence of Heart Failure: A Population-Based, Prospective Study of Middle-Aged and Elderly Women", Circulation, August 17, 2010, © American Heart Association, Inc.
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