consumption of dark chocolate reduces risks of fatal and non-fatal
heart attacks, new research says.
Monash University researchers showed that dark chocolate's blood
pressure-and cholesterol-lowering qualities made it a cheap and
tasty intervention strategy for a population at high risk of
The study conducted by Ella Zomer, Christopher Reid, Alice Owen
and Dianna Magliano from Monash department of Epidemiology and
Preventive Medicine, and Danny Liew from Melbourne University
shows that having dark chocolate daily could prevent 70 non-fatal
and 15 fatal cardiovascular events per 10,000 people over a
Zomer said the study was the first to examine the long-term health
benefits of flavanoids, which are found in dark chocolate and
known to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, the British Medical
"We've predicted significant health benefits of eating 100 grams
of dark chocolate everyday over a 10 year period. That's about the
equivalent of one premium-quality block containing a minimum 70
percent cocoa," Zomer said, according to a university statement.
"Our findings indicate dark chocolate therapy could provide an
alternative to or be used to complement drug therapeutics in
people at high risk of cardiovascular disease," Zomer said.
Cardiovascular disease, such as heart attack and stroke, is the
leading cause of death worldwide.
"We're not suggesting that the high-risk group use dark chocolate
as their only preventative measure, but in combination with
sensible choices, such as exercise," Zomer added.
Researchers used a math model to predict the long-term health
effects and cost effectiveness of daily dark chocolate consumption
in 2,013 people, already at high risk of heart disease.
Participants had no history of heart disease or diabetes and were
not on blood pressure-lowering therapy.