Does anything that takes good actually promote health? I would answer yes as I love lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, arugula and many other plant based goodies. But off the list is pepperoni pizza, hot dogs, croissants, and butter. The good news is that a new analysis in a prominent journal has confirmed the cardiovascular disease (CVD) benefits of dark chocolate (DC). This is important as CVDs are the leading cause of disability and mortality worldwide and are major contributors to the global disease burden.
To investigate the causality between dark chocolate intake and the risk of CVDs, a Mendelian randomization (MR) study was conducted. The researchers obtained summary-level data on dark chocolate intake and CVDs from publicly available genome-wide association studies.
We found that dark chocolate intake was significantly associated with a 27% reduction of the risk of essential hypertension (EH) as well as with the suggestive association to the reduced risk of venous thromboembolism by 31%. However, no association was found between dark chocolate intake and the other ten CVDs.
This study provides evidence for a causality between dark chocolate intake and a reduced risk of EH, which has important implications for the prevention of EH in the population.
Available evidence indicates that flavanols present in dark chocolates can improve endothelial function, promote vasodilation, and prevent platelet aggregation by increasing nitric oxide release. Flavanols are also known to have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. All these activities of flavanols are believed to be the main contributing factors towards a healthy cardiovascular system.
WARNING: A small square a day of high cacao chocoloate is enough! Or do what I do, put raw organic cacao powder in your coffee for a delicious drink that is healthy.