Thursday, November 16, 2006

Eating dark chocolate is good for your heart

Researchers say that eating small amount of dark chocolate every day can almost halve the risk of heart attack death in some men and women by decreasing the tendency of platelets to clot in narrow blood vessels. From Daily Mail:
The team found the blood of those who were having a regular nibble of chocolate typically took an average of 130 seconds to clot when placed in a special hair-thin tube.

By contrast those who stayed away from chocolate had blood that clotted within 123 seconds.

In a second test, they analysed the participants' urine for chemical by-products of platelet activity.

It emerged levels were 60 per cent higher in the group that abstained from chocolate, Dr Becker told the American Heart Association's annual conference in Chicago.

She said the group of 'chocolate offenders' had revealed how chemicals in cocoa beans have a similar effect to aspirin, by helping reduce the risk of blood clotting.

She said she would not advise people to eat lots of chocolate, since it can often contain high levels of sugar, butter and cream.

But the equivalent of two tablespoons a day of dark chocolate may be just what the doctor ordered.

'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,' she advised.

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