Chocolate has limited benefits

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 | In Health | Tags: ,

Chocolate has limited benefits
~ Chocolate has limited benefits ~

Despite earlier reports that eating chocolate could bring down cholesterol levels, it is revealed that this only happens in small amounts and only in some people, according to an analysis of eight studies.

Dr. Rutai Hui, of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College in Beijing, and colleagues found chocolate only helped people who already had risk factors for heart disease and only when consumed in modest amounts.

Eating moderate amounts of cocoa could be “a worth-while dietary approach” for preventing high cholesterol in certain groups of people. The analysis came after several studies suggested that chocolate may be good for your health.

One study released in March showed that among 19,300 people, those who ate the most chocolate had lower blood pressure and were less likely to suffer a stroke or heart attack over the next 10 years.

But, like the new analysis, that research came with caveats; the difference in chocolate consumption between the top and bottom chocolate-consuming groups was around six grams or about one-seventh of a Hershey’s milk chocolate bar.

Hui and his colleagues searched the medical literature to find studies that looked at how cocoa affected blood fats, or lipids, and found eight trials covering 215 people.

When all studies were analyzed together, the researchers found eating cocoa cut level of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, by about six mg/ dL and reduced total cholesterol by the same amount. But cocoa had not effect on cholesterol in the three highest-quality studies.

Further analysis showed that only people who ate small amounts of cocoa, an amount containing 260 milligrams of polyphones or less, experiences cholesterol lowering effects. people who consumed more showed no effect. Polyphenols are antioxidant compounds found in fruits, vegetables, chocolate and red wine.

The researchers also found that healthy people did not get any cholesterol-lowering benefits from cocoa, but people with risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, saw their LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol drop by around eight mg/dL each.

“Future research efforts should concentrate on higher-quality and more rigorous randomized trial with longer follow-ups to resolve the uncertainty regarding the clinical effectiveness, and then we can eat chocolate without feeling guilty” said Hui and his colleagues.

Source Credit: Reuters Life.


Leave a Reply

Turing Number



Little plugin, Just for fun

Some Simple Flash Games


E-mail This Post