12 Bits On Chocolate and Health

August 13, 2015

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.

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. 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.