Good heavens - my consumption of fine dark chocolate is too low!
In this prospective, controlled human intervention study, 31 fortunate subjects were assigned randomly to consume either a daily serving (50 grams) of either regular dark chocolate (70% cocoa), dark chocolate (70% cocoa) that had been overheated or “bloomed,” or white chocolate (0% cocoa). The subjects were asked to consume the chocolate for 15 days. Blood pressure, forearm skin blood flow, circulating lipid profiles, and blood glucose levels were recorded at the beginning and end of the study.
When compared to participants assigned to the white chocolate group, those consuming either form of dark chocolate had lower blood glucose and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL, the “bad” form) levels coupled with higher high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL, the “good” form).
The researchers concluded that dark chocolate may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by improving glucose levels and lipid profiles. However, they cautioned that—although habitual dark chocolate consumption may benefit one’s health by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease—it must be eaten in moderation because it can easily increase daily amounts of saturated fat and calories. Indeed, the authors commented, “We had great compliance with our study subjects because everybody wanted to eat chocolate. We actually had to tell them not to eat more than 50 grams a day.”
The group reports that it is planning follow-up studies involving more subjects and a longer duration of chocolate consumption.
Results from this study will be presented April 24, 2012 at the Experimental Biology 2012 meeting in San Diego, CA.
of course a small study like this isn't terribly useful, but at least it is nice to have some good news every now and again.