The history cause and prevention strategies and effects of dark chocolate on cardiovascular disease

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The history cause and prevention strategies and effects of dark chocolate on cardiovascular disease

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Background Consumption of chocolate has been often hypothesized to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease CVD due to chocolate's high levels of stearic acid and antioxidant flavonoids.

However, debate still lingers regarding the true long term beneficial cardiovascular effects of chocolate overall.

Methods We reviewed English-language MEDLINE publications from through January for experimental, observational, and clinical studies of relations between cocoa, cacao, chocolate, stearic acid, flavonoids including flavonols, flavanols, catechins, epicatechins, and procynadins and the risk of cardiovascular disease coronary heart disease CHDstroke.

A total of publications were selected based on relevance, and quality of design and methods. An updated meta-analysis of flavonoid intake and CHD mortality was also conducted.

Results The body of short-term randomized feeding trials suggests cocoa and chocolate may exert beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk via effects on lowering blood pressure, anti-inflammation, anti-platelet function, higher HDL, decreased LDL oxidation.

Will Dark Chocolate a Day Keep the Doctor Away?

Additionally, a large body of trials of stearic acid suggests it is indeed cholesterol-neutral. However, epidemiologic studies of serum and dietary stearic acid are inconclusive due to many methodologic limitations. Meanwhile, the large body of prospective studies of flavonoids suggests the flavonoid content of chocolate may reduce risk of cardiovascular mortality.

Conclusion Multiple lines of evidence from laboratory experiments and randomized trials suggest stearic acid may be neutral, while flavonoids are likely protective against CHD mortality.

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The highest priority now is to conduct larger randomized trials to definitively investigate the impact of chocolate consumption on long-term cardiovascular outcomes. Introduction Cardiovascular disease CVDas a group, is a leading cause of the death in the United States [ 1 ], and worldwide, causing over Ingreater than 85, disability-adjusted life-years were lost worldwide due to coronary heart disease CHD and stroke; this CVD disease burden is projected to rise to , disability-adjusted life-years by [ 2 ].

Studies suggest cardiovascular diseases may be preventable by lifestyle modifications, such as exercise and nutrition [ 3 - 7 ]. Preventive Services Task Force have each indicated the likely importance of diet for the prevention of CVD [ 8 - 10 ].

In the American diet, fruits, vegetables, tea, wine and chocolate are major sources of antioxidants, which have been shown to have protective effects against CVD [ 1112 ]. One class of antioxidants, flavonoids, commonly found in such foods, have attracted great interest in potentially lowering risk of CVD.

Since cocoa products contain greater antioxidant capacity and greater amounts of flavonoids per serving than all teas and red wines [ 1213 ], it is important to explore chocolate's potential effects on CVD.

The history cause and prevention strategies and effects of dark chocolate on cardiovascular disease

Since ancient times, chocolate has long been used as a medicinal remedy [ 14 ] and been proposed in medicine today for preventing various chronic diseases [ 1516 ]. While chocolate has also sometimes been criticized for its saturated fat content, mostly in the form of long-chain stearic acid, chocolate has also been lauded for its antioxidant potential.

However, to this date there are no long-term randomized feeding trials of chocolate to assess effects on actual cardiovascular events.

Nevertheless, there have been many short-term trials of cocoa and chocolate examining effects on cardiovascular intermediates, and numerous epidemiology studies of stearic acid and flavonoids exploring associations with cardiovascular outcomes. This systematic review serves to comprehensively evaluate the experimental and epidemiologic evidence of cocoa and chocolate products.

Particularly, we focus on the controversial potential benefits of the chocolate components stearic acid and flavonoids; review their overall effects on CVD risk factor intermediates and CVD endpoints; and conduct a meta-analysis of total flavonoid intake and risk of CHD mortality.

Methods We reviewed English-language MEDLINE publications from January through June for experimental, observational, and clinical studies of relations between the exposure search terms of chocolate, stearic acid, flavonoids including flavonols, flavanols, catechins, epicatechins, and procynadins and the outcome search terms of cardiovascular disease coronary heart disease, ischemic heart disease, strokecholesterol, blood pressure, platelet, oxidation, and thrombosis.

Approximately papers were reviewed. Based on the relevance, strength, and quality of the design and methods, publications were selected for inclusion. We mainly focused on studies in humans, particularly randomized trials of either parallel or cross-over design, and prospective observational studies.

Since no randomized trials have yet assessed chocolate in relation to definitive CVD outcomes, prospective observational studies evaluating chocolate sub-components and the risk of CVD outcomes were weighted equally in the overall evaluation.

For overall objective evaluation, the strength of the evidence was evaluated by the design and quality of individual studies, the consistency of findings across studies, and the biologic plausibility of possible mechanisms.

Finally, consistent with methods of the outdated prior analysis [ 17 ], an updated meta-analysis was conducted and relative risks estimates pooled using a random-effects model [ 18 ].

Review Stearic acid in chocolate Saturated fat has long been thought to contribute to atherosclerosis, and thus, adverse for CVD risk.Objective Studies investigating the impact of chocolate consumption on cardiovascular disease (CVD) have reached inconsistent conclusions.

As such, a quantitative assessment of the dose–response association between chocolate consumption and incident CVD has not been reported. Sep 25,  · Sept. 25, -- A piece of dark chocolate a day -- a very small piece -- keeps the doctor away. Chronic inflammation can lead to heart disease, so keeping inflammation under control is a .

Dark Chocolate Prevents Heart Disease

Most of the previous studies on the chocolate-heart connection found that only dark chocolate offered any cardiovascular protection. In the Norfolk study, any type of chocolate, including milk chocolate, seemed to have the same beneficial effect. Jan 03,  · Consumption of chocolate has been often hypothesized to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) due to chocolate's high levels of stearic acid and antioxidant flavonoids.

However, debate still lingers regarding the true long term beneficial cardiovascular effects of chocolate . May 31,  · Continued Dark Chocolate to Prevent Heart Disease, Stroke. First, the researchers plugged in the best-case scenario: % of the people eating . And no, taking along the cell phone, laptop, and a briefcase full of papers will not help you achieve the stress-reducing effects of a vacation that, in turn, reduces your risk of heart disease.

Chocolate and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: A Systematic Review