Tuesday 18 October 2016

Dark Chocolate could prevent Heart Disease and Diabetes

dark chocolate

Eating dark choclate a day could prevent people to suffering from diabetes or serious heart diseases, scientis claim.

The food can help people with diabetes by reducing blood sugar and insulin levels, the researchers said.

A team of scientists from the US found that chocolate increases 'good' cholesterol - high-density lipoprotein - when consumed between 200 and 600 milligrams a day.

The benefits depend on the amount of cocoa taken, making plain chocolate better than white or milk varieties.

In the study experts examined the cardiometabolic health of 1,139 volunteers who consumed chocolate flavanols - found in fruit and vegetables - in 119 different trials.

Authors who orchestrated the randomised controlled trials (RCTs) claimed the study shows the 'urgent need' for more trials to improve understanding of the short-term benefits.Dr Simin Liu, professor and director of the Centre for Global Cardiometabolic Health at Brown University, USA, and author of the study, said: "Our meta-analysis of RCTs characterises how cocoa flavanols affect cardiometabolic biomarkers, providing guidance in designing large, definitive prevention trials against diabetes and cardiovascular disease in future work.None of the studies were designed to test directly whether cocoa consumption leads to reduced cases of heart attacks or type two diabetes.

Atudent Xiaochen Lin, who worked with Dr Liu on the study, added: "We found that cocoa flavanol intake may reduce dyslipidemia (furred arteries), insulin resistance and systemic inflammation, which are all major subclinical risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases."

The study was funded by the American Heart Association, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and Mars.

Xiaochen Lin said: "The treatment groups of trials included in our meta-analysis are primarily dark chocoLate - a few were using cocoa powder based beverages.

"Therefore the findings from the current study apparently shouldn't be generalised to different sorts of chocolate candies or white chocolates, of which the content of sugar/food additives could be substantially higher than that of dark chocolate."

The study also found that those who claimed to eat chocolate were younger, more physically active and had higher levels of education than those who claimed not to eat chocolate on a daily basis.

The authors concluded: "Our study highlights the urgent need for large long-term RCTs that improve our understanding of how the short-term benefits of cocoa flavanol intake on cardiometabolic biomarkers may be translated into clinical outcomes."

More than 80 per cent of participants claimed to eat an average of 24.8 g of chocolate a day.

Earlier this year, research findings from the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), the University of Warwick Medical School, the University of South Australia and the University of Maine found including a small amount of chocolate each day could help prevent diabetes and insulin resistance.

Researchers analysed data from 1,153 people aged 18 to 69 years old who were part of the Observation of Cardiovascular Risk in Luxembourg (ORISCAV-LUX) study.

The study was published in the Journal of Nutrition.

Don't forget to read Is chocolate GOOD/BAD for your health?



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