Medical researchers have identified a compound that may reduce your risk of a risky type of heart rhythm that can lead to strokes, dementia, heart failure and early death. They found the rate of newly-diagnosed atrial fibrillation was 10% lower for those who ate between one and three 30g servings of chocolate a month than it was for those who consumed less than one serving a month. The associations seemed to be strongest for 1 weekly serving for women and between 2 and 6 weekly servings for men, according to the research published in the journalHeart.
It's worth remembering that - as well as cocoa - chocolate contains a lot of fat and sugar.
The researchers also noted other details of each participant like diet, heart disease risk, and lifestyle -such as smoking - before the study's commencement.
The best news of all: the beneficial effect isn't confined to dark chocolate, beloved by aficionados and secretly disliked by most everyone else.
The findings were also consistent when it came to how much chocolate patients were eating. Prior studies had shown that compounds in cocoa can suppress inflammation, which can help protect the heart.
"Those who ate one serving a week had a 17-per cent lower rate and those who ate two to six serving a week had a 20-percent lower rate, " researchers found.
Mostofsky's team said that while they can not definitively conclude that chocolate prevents AFib, eating cocoa and cocoa-containing foods may help heart health because of they contain a high volume of flavanols, which are compounds believed to have anti-inflammatory, blood vessel-relaxing and anti-oxidant properties.
Dr. Mostofsky, Prof. Mittleman and their colleagues obtained information on the study participants' body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol, which were measured when participants were recruited between 1993 and 1997.
As an observational study, no firm conclusions can be made, and certain factors could affect the health benefits of the chocolate, for example adding milk.
During the 13.5-year follow-up period, there were 3,346 cases of atrial fibrillation.
An global team of researchers found that regular consumption of moderate amounts of chocolate reduces the risk of atrial fibrillation of the heart. Men got to eat two to six weekly servings, or 60 to 180 grams of chocolate, to achieve their maximal risk reduction, of 23%.
The strongest association for women, say the researchers, was a single weekly serving of chocolate, which conferred a whopping 21 per cent lower risk.
The researchers in their study said that around 2.7 million to 6.1 million people in the United States have atrial fibrillation.
Men who love chocolate will be happier than women about the results of this study.
"This is not carte blanche to eat large amounts of chocolate", said Mostofsky.
Campaigning suspended after Manchester attack
Rebecca Topham tweeted: 'I have a sofa, floor, blankets and tea, 5 minutes from Arena for anyone in need #RoomForManchester '. A woman who sheltered distressed children affected by last night's terror attack in Manchester has been hailed as a hero.
Trump writes in Holocaust memorial guestbook: 'So amazing'
He said that it is every person's duty "to do not forget to mourn, to grieve, and to honor" each life lost in the Holocaust. Donald Trump has paid his respects to the victims of the Holocaust at Israel's Yad Vashem memorial museum.