Great news for chocolate lovers (of which I am one!) Keep eating your M&Ms, chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate ice cream! The more you eat, the healthier your heart….can that be right??!
A recent New York Times article reported that people who ate high quantities of chocolate were less likely to develop cardiovascular disease. The article reported on a review of research studies published in the British Medical Journal that looked for correlation between chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders. Seven studies were evaluated – 5 out of the 7 found a positive correlation between high levels of chocolate consumption and decreased risk of disorders such as cardiovascular disease and strokes.
When I posted a link to this article with great excitement a few weeks ago on Facebook, a few of my skeptical “friends” pointed out that none of the studies, as noted in the Times article, “involved randomized, controlled trials.” A researcher quoted in the Times article was also cautious, indicating that chocolate should only be eaten in moderation. What do you think? How important are “randomized, controlled trials”? Are you likely to dismiss the concerns and eat your Phish Food a pint at a time?
Currently in AP Biology we are studying organic compounds. Knowing that saturated fats are associated with clogged arteries and poor cardiovascular health, it would be interesting to find out what kinds of fats are in chocolate. Perhaps it is not the types of lipids, but instead particular chemicals in chocolate that contribute to heart health. Sounds like something that should be explored by some interested AP Bio students!
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