Friday, June 11, 2010

Chocolate Might Lower Cholesterol Levels

Source: Reuters Health (Summary by NIM)

Ah, chocolate. So hard to resist yet so easy to go overboard! But if you’re looking for health benefits including lowering your cholesterol levels, chocolate might just be the medicine you’ve been looking for, according to a new study.

Chocolate, in moderation, has already been shown to help reduce the risk of stroke, lower blood pressure and help prevent heart disease. Now, based on an analysis of 8 other studies, Chinese researchers have found that people with existing risk factors for heart disease can benefit from enjoying chocolate daily. In the study, the researchers found that cocoa is able to cut LDL levels (“bad cholesterol”), when consumed in small amounts, thanks to the antioxidants it contains.

Now, before you consider this an excuse to dig in to that chocolate bar, it should be noted that we’re only talking about a very small amount here- just over an ounce each day. Not to mention, it should ideally be the dark kind! According to the researchers, future studies need to be done to pinpoint the finer details of why and how much chocolate is good for us, adding “Then we can really eat chocolate without feeling guilty."! Nonetheless, what better medicine is there than chocolate?

Find out more by reading the article called “A little chocolate might help cut cholesterol” from Reuters Health (June 1, 2010).