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Chocolate & Reducing Irregular Heartbeat

Posted On: 05-26-2017
Chocolate & Reducing Irregular Heartbeat
According to new research published in the journal Heart, chocolate could help to lower the risk of atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat that can contribute to strokes.

The study involved 55,000 people in Denmark whose health was tracked for more than 13 years. In this time period, 3,300 cases of atrial fibrillation occurred. In those who ate a 1-ounce serving of chocolate less than once a month, the risk of atrial fibrillation was 17 percent higher than in those who ate one to three servings each month and 20 percent higher compared to those who ate two to six servings of chocolate per week. This benefit seemed to level off with adults who ate one or more servings of chocolate a day.

Elizabeth Mostofsky, the study’s lead author and an instructor in epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, indicated that this study adds to evidence that moderate chocolate intake is beneficial. This may be because cocoa contains high levels of flavanols, which can improve the function of blood vessels.

While this study has its limitations and more information is needed, it suggests a potential link between chocolate consumption and reduced atrial fibrillation risk. However, aerobic exercise and a healthy lifestyle are still primary factors in cardiovascular health. Additionally, eating excessive amounts of chocolate can lead to other problems.

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