Thursday, 23 October 2014

The Truth about Chocolate

While investigating the benefits of chocolate for the Channel 7 healthy truth program Dr Andrew Rochford interviewed Prof Chris Reid about the research he had conducted on this topic.





The research conducted by Prof Chris Reid used a mathematical model to predict the long-term health effects and cost effectiveness of daily dark chocolate consumption in 2,013 people already at high risk of heart disease.


All participants had high blood pressure and met the criteria for metabolic syndrome, but had no history of heart disease or diabetes and were not on blood pressure lowering therapy.

With 100% compliance (best case scenario), the researchers show that daily dark chocolate consumption could potentially avert 70 non-fatal and 15 fatal cardiovascular events per 10,000 people treated over 10 years.

Even when compliance levels were reduced to 80%, the number of non-fatal and fatal events potentially averted was 55 and 10 per 10,000 people treated over 10 years, and could still be considered an effective intervention strategy.

The model also suggested that $A40 (£25; €31; $42) could be cost effectively spent per person per year on dark chocolate prevention strategies and could be used for advertising, educational campaigns, or subsidising dark chocolate in this high risk population, they add.

Also important, they say, is that these protective effects have only been shown for dark chocolate (at least 60-70% cocoa), rather than for milk or white chocolate, probably due to the higher levels of flavonoids found in dark chocolate.

Nevertheless, they conclude that the blood pressure and cholesterol lowering effects of plain dark chocolate “could represent an effective and cost effective strategy for people with metabolic syndrome (and no diabetes).”

Read the BMJ Article here 


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