Table of Contents
One of the latest benefits of eating chocolate to come to light entails prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. The study was carried out by researchers from Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), the University Of Warwick Medical School, the University of South Australia and the University of Maine. The results of the study were later published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
During the course of the study, the data of 1,153 people between the ages of 18 and 69 was collected. These people were included in the Observation of Cardiovascular Risk in Luxembourg (ORISCAV-LUX) study.
Different lifestyle elements like caffeine consumption and other dietary factors were also studied at the same time in the subjects owing to the fact that the caffeine present in tea or coffee can become the source of polyphenol, a chemical that is also responsible for the advantageous effects of chocolate.
A Little Bit of Chocolate Is Good For Health
Amongst the study subjects, more than eighty percent were found to consume 24.8 grams of chocolate on a daily basis. Surprisingly, it was noted that people who ate chocolate daily were more active, better educated and younger as compared to people who did not.
The researchers found that people who consumed a hundred grams of chocolate on a daily basis had low level of resistance to insulin and an improved liver profile. This amount is roughly equal to a bar of chocolate. Since insulin sensitivity is one of the known risk factors for cardiovascular disorders, it was stipulated that by enhancing insulin sensitivity, chocolate consumption helps lower the odds of heart diseases and stroke.
The researchers suggest eating foods containing phytochemicals, dark chocolate, in particular for heart disease prevention. One of the foremost precautions that must be exercised is to differentiate between natural cocoa-based and processed chocolate because processed chocolate is packed with calories and can lead to morbid weight gain. This can be avoided through regular exercise and controlled diet.
According to Dr Ala'a Alkerwi, the lead researcher of the study, the consumption of chocolate may be a marker of a group of promising socio-demographic profiles, wholesome lifestyle and better health which may be responsible for the opposing relationship between insulin resistance and liver enzymes.
The Future Potential
According to Professor Saverio Stranges, the Scientific Director of the Department of Population Health at Luxembourg Institute of Health, this study might become the basis for using cocoa-containing products, especially chocolate, as a preventive measure for heart diseases. However, additional research to support this recommendation has to be undertaken before it can be implemented.
This study has paved way for further research and control studies for understanding the precise mechanism by which chocolate leads to improved insulin sensitivity and improvement of the liver biomarkers.
The study has, nonetheless, proved the beneficial effects of chocolate consumption, demonstrating that eating a little bit of chocolate daily can prevent diabetes. It can also have beneficial effects on the health of diabetics, preventing the risk of cardiovascular disorders in diabetes patients in the long run.