Myocardial Infarction
Daily cocoa intake can save you from heart attack
Feb 28, 2006 - 9:31:37 PM

Regular intake of cocoa by elderly men has been found to reduce their risk of dying from a heart attack, but excess consumption could be harmful, say scientists.

Brian Buijsse, at the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Amsterdam, and other researchers studied 470 men aged over 65 and asked them questions about their dietary intake of cocoa.

The men were placed in three groups according to their level of cocoa consumption and data about their health was collected. During the 15 years' study at five-year intervals, 314 men died - 152 due to cardiovascular disease, reported the online edition of New Scientist.

"The men in the group that consumed the least cocoa were twice as likely to die from a heart attack as those in the group that consumed the most cocoa - at least four grams per day - and the risk remained lower even when other factors such as smoking, physical exercise and weight were taken into account," researchers said.

"And men in the study who consumed the most cocoa were less likely to die of any cause."

"The key thing to remember about such studies is that chocolate is more often part of the problem, not the solution," Cathy Ross, a medical spokeswoman of the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said.

"Cocoa is rarely tolerable in large amounts in its raw state and therefore to consume the suggested therapeutic amount you would have to have 100g of dark chocolate per day.

"This would mean an average intake of 500 calories per 100g with an average of 30 percent fat content," she points out.

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