Could eating chocolate every day help keep a heart attack away?
Believe it or not, the result of a sweet new study from Johns Hopkins says the answer is yes.
If you eat a little chocolate everyday you may be decreasing your risk of a heart attack.
Johns Hopkins researchers say chocolate can decrease the risk of heart Attack death in some people by half, by preventing platelets to clot in blood vessels. "It's believed that inflammation or disruption of the lining of the
artery of the heart occurs for reasons that aren't entirely well
Understood and that platelets are a significant mediator by clumping on the area of inflammation that causes an obstruction inside the artery that is responsible for heart attack," says Dr. Douglas Drachman, Cardiologist, Mass. General.
Apparently, a chemical in cocoa beans has a similar effect as to aspirin in reducing platelets from clumping. "Platelets tended not to clump together as frequently in these patients as those who didn't eat chocolate, which is a very surprising finding," Dr. Drachman explains.
"But this isn't a prescription to gobble up candy bars. Researchers recommend a small piece of dark chocolate a day," adds Dr. Deanna Lites.
And a piece of chocolate alone isn't the key to a healthy heart.
Dr. Drachman says, "First and foremost one needs to remember to live their life in moderation and a well balanced approach to the management of heart disease is what's important."
Researchers discovered this surprising lesson about chocolate by accident.
They were looking at the effects of aspirin on blood platelets.
Patients in the study were not supposed to eat certain foods like chocolate.
Some people did not follow the rules.
When doctors looked at their blood tests they discovered this new information.