Monday, June 04, 2012


The 31st May issue of BMJ ( British Medical Journal ), carries an article on the beneficial longterm effects of dark chocolates. By dark chocolates, we mean chocolates that contain about 60-70% of cocoa or polyphenols.
Polyphenols, like other flavonoids, have anti-hypertensive, anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic and anti-metabolic effects. Sounds like the ideal treatment for the metabolic syndrome. And it looks like, if Dr Christopher Reids ( Monash University, Melbourne ) paper in BMJ is to be believed.
Dr Reid, used data from the Australian diabetes, obesity and lifestyle study, which tracked patients with metabolic syndrome over 10 years. Using the data from 2013 patients, and their chocolate eating habits, he created a Markov's model. From what I can understand, this is a statistical model to separate patients into subgroups which are mutually exclusive, and work out the probability of an event happening, using the raw data to work out the risk. It almost sounds like a virtual clinical controlled trial.
Anyway, if you believe in this Markov's model approached, they found that in this group of 2012 patients with metabolic syndrome from the Australian Diabetes, obesity and lifestyle cohort, taking 100grams of dark chocolate daily for 10 years will reduce the chance of a cardiovascular event by 85 events per 10,000 population.
This is probably the longest follow-up data on dark chocolate consumption. Al the previous sudy followed up subjects in the short term, some as short as 18 weeks. This one when on for 10 years.
I suppose my take home message would be that if you like chocolates, please consume the dark ones. If fact, the darker ( more cocoa ) the better. It is also obvious that the darker, the more bitter, and the higher the cost. Most people prefer the not so dark, which contains more sugar, is cheaper, and may cause the metabolic syndrome.
As usual, you have the choice, enjoy life and run the risk of metabolic syndrome, or sacrifice some pleasure for better health. I really wonder whether anyone can consume 100 grams of dark chocolate daily for 10 years. I do not think I can, but there again, I am not a chocolate eater.

1 comment:

Musafir Melayu said...

This is interesting,
Thank you for sharing :)