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Dark Chocolate Prevents Heart Disease
Tiny Bit of Dark Chocolate Daily Reduces Inflammation That Leads to Heart Disease
 
A piece of dark chocolate a day -- a very small piece -- keeps the doctor away.
An Italian study shows that dark chocolate can significantly reduce the inflammation that leads to cardiovascular disease. The ideal amount is 6.7 grams per day (0.23 ounces). A typical Hershey chocolate bar weighs about 43 grams. That means eating one dark chocolate bar over the course of 6 1/2 days to get 6.7 grams per day.
Milk chocolate doesn't appear to offer the same benefits.
For the chocolate study, researchers identified 4,849 people in good health without risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. These participants were asked about their dark chocolate consumption.
Chronic inflammation can lead to heart disease, so keeping inflammation under control is a major part of preventive treatment. Research has shown that patients who have a low amount of C-reactive protein in their blood have lower levels of inflammation. People who eat dark chocolate regularly, in small servings, have significantly lower levels of C reactive protein, according to the study. This holds true even after accounting for any other potential confounding factors (such as differences in other dietary practices).
Source: WebMD Health News, By Caroline Wilbert, Reviewed by Elizabeth Klodas, MD, FACC, Sept. 25, 2008, Giuseppe, R., Journal of Nutrition, September 2008; pp 1939-1945, News release, Catholic University, Hersheys.com.
 
 

Dr. Iverson's Comment
 
Isn’t Valentines Sweet? Wine, Roses, and of course Chocolate! This is not new for many of us, as we have been hearing about the benefits of chocolate or cocoa extract in the news and no doubt giving us one more reason to indulge.
 
Like the benefits of the wine and roses, chocolate contains that all so important nature-made chemical called a BIOFLAVONOID. This bioflavonoid called, Epicatechin improves blood flow to the heart and brain, being excellent for both. Cocoa, the major ingredient of dark chocolate, contains relatively high amounts of epicatechin and has been found to have nearly twice the antioxidant content of red wine and up to three times that of green tea
 
Bioflavonoids are nature’s method of protecting the plant against the harmful rays of the sun, and thus they have transferred their protective mechanisms onto those that eat them—hopefully us! 
 
I recommend obtaining antioxidants by eating a variety of plant foods that are rich or bright in color. If your diet is lacking consider supplementing with our wide variety of antioxidant combination formulas. Sorry, none of them are nearly as tasty as chocolate~
 
Be well!
 
 
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