Is eating chocolate good for your patients’ health or bad? Savor these slides for a concise summary of this favorite food’s medicinal pros and cons.
Clearly, people love their chocolate! But is eating chocolate really good for your patients’ health? Savor these slides for a concise summary of this food favorite’s medicinal pros and cons.
The world consumes more than 7 million tons of chocolate each year, and US sales alone are predicted to reach $22.4 billion in 2017.
Fast forward from 13.82 billion years ago when the universe was born to the 21st century, and the multiple studies that show varying effects of chocolate on health and well-being.
Among the potential benefits of eating chocolate: lower cholesterol levels, prevention of cognitive decline, and reduction of cardiovascular risks.
Chocolate may protect the CV system because the cocoa bean is rich in flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. Flavonols, the main type of flavonoid in cocoa and chocolate, have other potential influences on vascular health (eg, lowering blood pressure).
Daily chocolate consumption was associated with significantly lower CHD risk, stroke, composite CV adverse outcome, and CV mortality in a study from the UK.
Kwok CS, Boekholdt SM, Lentjes MAH, et al. Habitual chocolate consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease among healthy men and women. Heart doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2014-307050. More information, here.
Not all studies of chocolate have shown salubrious effects: some studies have linked the confection with cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Hodgson JM.Devine A, Burke V,et al. Chocolate consumption and bone density in older women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Jan;87:175-180. More information, here.
What does the literature say about the effect of chocolate on blood pressure? Cancer? Stroke? Leg ulcers? Here's a sample of the data. (See links at end of introduction)
Nine out of 10 people say they like chocolate, and the tenth is lying, it was written somewhere in Switzerland. That was scribbled in graffiti, but it must be true: The world consumes more than 7 million tons of chocolate each year, and US sales alone are predicted to reach $22.4 billion in 2017. And now people are eating chocolate for medical reasons as well as decadent indulgence. To paraphrase a classic beer commercial: tastes great, better health.Actually, evidence of medical use of chocolate was found in Mesoamerican civilizations as early as 600 B.C. Chocolate started to be used for medical reasons in Europe in the 16th century, but debate arose about identification of its properties in terms of dietetics. During the 20th century, the concept of chocolate being good for the diet overcame its concept as good medicine. But recent times have seen a rehabilitation of chocolate consumption from a medical point of view.Here's a sample of the data.Bitzer ZT, Glisan SL, Dorenkott MR, et al. Cocoa procyanidins with different degrees of polymerization possess distinct activities in models of colonic inflammation. J Nutr Biochem. 2015;26:827-831. Epub 2015 Apr 1.Walters MR, Williamson C, Lunn K, Munteanu A. Chocolate consumption and risk of stroke: A prospective cohort of men and meta-analysis. Neurology. 2013;80:1173-1174.Â Reid K, Sullivan TR, Fakler P, Frank OK, Stocks NP. Effect of cocoa on blood pressure. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;8:CD008893.Scallon C, Bell-Syer SE, Aziz Z. Flavonoids for treating venous leg ulcers. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;31:CD006477. Â