Doctors may encourage moderate dark chocolate consumption after latest health links: Researchers

By Oliver Nieburg contact

- Last updated on GMT

Daily chocolate consumption linked to fighting insulin resistance in Luxembourg study. Photo: iStock - Stefano Tinti
Daily chocolate consumption linked to fighting insulin resistance in Luxembourg study. Photo: iStock - Stefano Tinti

Related tags: Nutrition, Insulin

Healthcare professionals may recommend moderate dark chocolate consumption after daily chocolate eating was tied to reducing heart disease risk factors, claim the authors of a cross-sectional study.

Researchers from Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), Warwick University, University of South Australia and the University of Maine analyzed data from 1,153 people aged 18 to 69 years that were part of the Observation of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Luxembourg​ study.

Flavonoid effect

In findings published in in the British Journal of Nutrition​, they said those eating chocolate daily had reduced insulin resistance and liver enzymes - risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

“Multiple components in chocolate, particularly flavonoids, may contribute to the complex interplay between nutrition and health,”​ said the study, which added dark chocolate contains higher concentrations of flavonoids per serving than tea, apples and wine

“Cocoa-based products may offer an extraordinary opportunity to successfully improve compliance to dietary recommendations,” ​it continued.

“Potential applications of this knowledge include recommendations by healthcare professionals to encourage individuals to consume a wide range of phytochemical-rich foods, which can include dark chocolate in moderate amounts.”

Chocolate eating frequency

The study found lower insulin resistance, lower serum insulin levels and a reduction in liver enzymes for daily chocolate consumers.

Over 80% of study participants claimed to eat an average of 24.8 g of chocolate per day.

The study said chocolate consumers were likely to be younger, physically active and with higher levels of education.

The researchers said the study’s cross-sectional design was a limitation and called for randomized-controlled research to better understand the impact and the effect of different types of chocolate.

One researcher was supported by a grant from the Fonde national de Recherche and another by funds from the Sidney Sax Research Fellowship, but no conflicts of interest were declared.

Source:
British Journal of Nutrition
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114516000702
‘Daily chocolate consumption is inversely associated with insulin resistance and liver enzymes in the Observation of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Luxembourg study’
Authors: Ala’a Alkerwi, Nicolas Sauvageot, Georgina E. Crichton, Merrill F. Elias and Saverio Stranges

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