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Eating the Right Chocolate Protects Your Heart

In a case of making lemonade from lemons, a group of patients dropped from a Johns Hopkins study on aspirin and heart disease were responsible for demonstrating why eating properly-processed chocolate may indeed be good for your heart.

The 139 "chocoholics" were disqualified from a larger study of 1,200 patients researching the effect of aspirin on blood platelets for failing to follow a strict exercise and eating regimen, which included staying away from, among other things, caffeinated drinks and chocolate.

After this group was excluded from the original study, researchers tested their blood for signs of chocolate's effects on their blood platelets against those who had refrained from eating it. Those who ate chocolate not only had lower levels of a platelet waste product (thromboxane) in their urine, their blood clotted more slowly than samples taken from the non-chocolate patients.

Moreover, scientists agree patients derive the heart-healthy benefits of chocolate from consuming the purest form: Minimally-processed dark chocolate. Some simple guidelines to follow about eating chocolate:

  • Consume chocolate in moderation.
  • Eat it only if you're healthy.
  • Stick with dark chocolate.

MSNBC November 14, 2006

Science Blog November 14, 2006