Remember, too much can make you fat. Moderation is the key.
The findings, published in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine, are based on data collected for more than a decade on Dutch men who were ages 65 and older in 1985. The long-running Zutphen Elderly Study has been used by other researchers to look for risk factors for chronic disease.
This time, researchers examined the eating habits of 470 healthy men who were not taking blood pressure medicine. The men who ate the most products made from cocoa beans - including cocoa drinks, chocolate bars and chocolate pudding - had lower blood pressure and a 50 percent lower risk of death.
The men ate the equivalent of about 10 grams of chocolate a day.
Cocoa beans contain flavanols, which are thought to increase nitric oxide in the blood and improve the function of blood vessels.
"This is a very important article providing epidemiological support for what many researchers have been observing in experimental models," said Cesar Fraga of the University of California Davis, who does similar research but was not involved in the new study.
Buijsse noted the men eating the most cocoa products were not heavier or bigger eaters than the men who ate less cocoa.
Could the study results apply to women?
"Our study consisted of elderly men," Buijsse said. "If you look at the other interventional studies, you see the same effects in men and women, younger people and older people. It may be the findings are generalizable to women, but you never know."
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Mmmm! Chocolate can be good for you
Check out this news story.