Over the past few years, researchers determined that consuming a moderate quantity of chocolate could be beneficial to the health as it reduces stroke and heart diseases risks.
Now, a recently released study found a new beneficial effect possibly linked to eating chocolate. This was connected with a decrease in the chances of atrial fibrillation or the condition that causes a fast and also irregular heartbeat.
Research results are now available in the journal Heart. For its study, the team analyzed data from over 55,000 participants. These are part of “The Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study”, a population-based prospective cohort report. The age of the people involved was in between 50 to 64 years old. They reported their chocolate consumption habits before enrolling in the research.
Eating Chocolate Moderately May Possibly Reduce Atrial Fibrillation Risks
The participants were followed over an average period of 13.5 years. During this time, the study registered 3346 cases of atrial fibrillation. By analyzing their data, the team noted that people who consumed chocolate between once or three times a week presented a 10 percent lower risk of developing a fast and irregular heartbeat.
The research team also looked at the decrease percentage and compared it to the consumption rates. For women, eating chocolate once a week led to the highest reduction, of 21 percent. In men, the lowest associated risk, of 23 percent, came from eating 2 to 6 servings a week.
These rates were all established in comparison with participants that ate chocolate less than once a month. The study also took into account other risks factors such as smoking, obesity, alcohol intake or high blood pressure.
Still, the researchers did not establish a cause and effect relation between the atrial fibrillation risks reduction and eating chocolate. They also have yet to determine the exact mechanism behind this prevention method. As it is, they believe that the flavonoids compound may have a role in it. The research does have some limitations, which some did not fail to point out.
Nonetheless, “the findings are interesting and warrant further consideration, given the importance of identifying effective prevention strategies for atrial fibrillation.”
This is according to DR. Jonathan Piccini and Dr. Sean Pokorney from the Duke University Medical Center.
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