According to a new study, eating chocolate may have more health benefits than believed. Research results were published in the journal Heart and show that chocolate could help lower the risk of atrial fibrillation.
Heart arrhythmia, also known as atrial fibrillation, is a condition which causes a fast and irregular heartbeat. This can lead to other serious problems including heart failure, stroke, and blood clots. More than 2.7 million Americans have this condition. Reports show that many people do not give heart arrhythmia enough consideration. This happens despite the fact that more than 15% of individuals who suffered a stroke also had atrial fibrillation.
Some people who suffer from this heart problem don’t experience any symptoms. However, its most common signs include fatigue, dizziness, weakness, sweating, confusion, and shortness of breath. Globally, this condition affects more than 33 million people.
Chocolate and its Benefits in Relation to Atrial Fibrillation
Previous studies showed that dark chocolate lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks. So the research team set out to determine if this also applied to heart arrhythmia. To conduct their research, the scientists used data from “The Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study”.
The team monitored the health and diet of 55,502 women and men aged in between 50 to 64. They took into consideration their total calorie intake, alcohol consumption levels, and smoking habits.
This way, the team noted that people who ate chocolate were less likely to develop atrial fibrillation. Participants that consumed over 2 ounces a week had a 20% lowered risk compared to the ones who did not eat chocolate.
“You can’t have as much chocolate as you want, and then ignore everything we know about healthy diet and physical activity,” mentioned Elizabeth Mostofky, the study lead.
The research team pointed out that it is important to maintain a healthy diet and to exercise. This can help lower the risks of developing heart problems. They also stated that eating chocolate can only reduce the risk if a person has a healthy diet, to begin with. More precisely, chocolate can help, but should not substitute other necessary food products.
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