Study: Chocolate Cuts Risk Of Heart Disease And Strokes

A new study seemingly paints chocolate as a wonder drug: It can apparently cut your risk of heart disease by 37%, reduce the risk of a stroke by 29% and drop your chance of developing diabetes by 31%. The catch? The study, out this week in the British Medical Journal, doesn’t involve randomized controlled trials.

Consumer Reports Health crunched the details of the new study:

While none of the research involved randomized controlled trials, the evidence does hint at a rather sweet prospect: A little chocolate might be good for your heart as well as your soul.

Researchers looked at the results of seven studies including 114,009 participants, and compared the group with the highest chocolate consumption with the group with the lowest. The studies did not differentiate between dark or milk chocolate, and included chocolate bars, chocolate drinks, and chocolate snacks (confectionary, biscuits, desserts, nutritional supplements, and candy bars).

Five of the seven studies reported a beneficial association between a high intake of chocolate and risk of cardiovascular events, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, but no significant reduction in heart failure risk.

Consumer Reports says that “while further research is needed, this latest review adds to a number of studies in support of the beneficial effects of eating chocolate” and suggests that you “limit yourself to small to moderate portions a couple of times a week.” But who can really do that?

Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis [British Medical Journal via Consumer Reports Health]