For chocolates lover this is going to be a treat as researchers found through a study that a few bits of dark chocolate a day can have the same benefit as aspirin in reducing blood clots and preventing heart attacks.
“What these chocolate ‘offenders’ taught us is that the chemical in cocoa beans has a biochemical effect similar to aspirin in reducing platelet clumping which can be fatal if a clot forms and blocks a blood vessel, causing a heart attack,” lead researcher Diane Becker told the annual conference of the American Heart Association on Tuesday in Chicago.
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine professor cautioned that her work is not intended as a prescription to gobble up huge amounts of chocolate candy laced with health offending substances like sugar, butter and cream.
However, she said that two tablespoons a day of dark chocolate, meaning the purest form of the candy made from dried extract of roasted cocoa beans may be just what the doctor ordered.
For almost 20 years, scientists have known that dark chocolate, rich in chemicals called flavonoids, lowers blood pressure and has other beneficial effects on blood flow.
Becker’s findings show that normal, everyday doses of chocolate found in ordinary foods is enough to provide clot-controlling benefit, rather than the kilos of chocolate earlier studies said were needed for flavonoids to have a significant effect.
“Eating a little bit of chocolate or having a drink of hot cocoa as part of a regular diet is probably good for personal health, so long as people don’t eat too much of it, and too much of the kind with lots of butter and sugar,” said Becker.
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Sub-editorChocolate works like aspirin to reduce heart attacks
by Sub-editor ( Author at Spirit India )
Posted on November 15th, 2006 at 9:17 pm.
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