LIFESTYLE

Heart Disease Prevention: How Dark Chocolate May Help Prevent Atherosclerosis

28/02/2014 10:51 GMT | Updated 28/02/2014 10:59 GMT

Good news chocoholics, dark chocolate may be good for your heart. *fist pumps*

A recent study has shown that eating dark chocolate regularly can reverse the hardening and narrowing of arteries associated with atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis is a potentially serious condition where arteries become clogged up by fatty substances, such as cholesterol, and can lead to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

But the study findings suggests that dark chocolate lowers the augmentation index, a key vascular health predictor, and prevents white blood cells from sticking to the blood vessel walls.

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Dark Chocolate Recipes

"The effect that dark chocolate has on our bodies is encouraging not only because it allows us to indulge with less guilt, but also because it could lead the way to therapies that do the same thing as dark chocolate but with better and more consistent results," said Dr. Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal.

"Until the 'dark chocolate drug' is developed, however, we'll just have to make do with what nature has given us!"

Researchers monitored the vascular health of 44 middle-aged and overweight men. Each participant ate 70 grams of dark chocolate per day over a study period course of two to four weeks.

The study is featured in the March issue of the The FASEB Journal.

See Also:

Five Foods That Could Save Your Life

Heart Attacks: All You Need To Know About Symptoms, Risk, Prevention