Jewish World Review Feb 4, 2005/ 25 Shevat, 5765
Drs. Michael A. Glueck & Robert J. Cihak
Heart healthy Chocolate: It's not a dream!
This week the nation is collectively preparing to overdose for the
Superbowl. We will consume more than 30 million pounds of snacks during the
game. From past estimates this includes 8.5 million pounds of nachos, 11.3
M of potato chips, 4.3 M of pretzels, 3.8 M of popcorn and 2.7 M pounds of
We've written recently about the heart health benefits of dark berries and
dark beer (See Archives) but now comes the coux de gras. High quality dark
chocolate has health benefits.
According to the savory Aphrodite Handmade English Luxury Chocolates web
site, Montezuma, the Aztec Emperor, noted that Chocolate is, "The divine
drink, which builds up resistance and fights fatigue. A cup of this
precious drink permits a man to walk for a whole day without food."
Aphrodite notes further, "that eating 50 grams (2 oz's) a day of plain dark
chocolate with a minimum content of 70 percent chocolate solids can be
beneficial to your health, providing protection against high blood pressure
and many other health hazards as well as (providing) many trace elements
and nutrients essential to good health such as iron, calcium and potassium,
and vitamins A. B1, C, D, and E."
Comments WebMD Medical News, Wednesday, August 27, 2003,"Short of breath?
Fatigued? If you've been diagnosed with heart failure, see how a
new-generation treatment option could change your life. Got high blood
pressure? Try a truffle. Worried about heart disease? Buy a bon-bon."
Continues WebMD News, "Studies in two scientific journals say dark
chocolate but not white chocolate or milk chocolate is good for you."
"Dark chocolate not white chocolate lowers high blood pressure," say
Dirk Taubert, MD, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Cologne,
Germany. Their report appears in the Aug. 27, 2003 issue of The Journal of
the American Medical Association. Eating more dark chocolate can help lower
blood pressure if you've reached a certain age and have mild high blood
pressure, say the researchers. But that's not justification to go on a
Dark chocolate but not milk chocolate or dark chocolate eaten with milk
is a potent antioxidant, report Mauro Serafini, Ph.D., of Italy's
National Institute for Food and Nutrition Research in Rome, and colleagues.
Their report appears in the Aug. 28, 2003 issue of Nature. Antioxidants
gobble up free radicals, destructive molecules that are implicated in heart
disease and other ailments.
The Taubert's study consisted of six men and seven women aged 55-64. All
had just been diagnosed with mild high blood pressure, on average, systolic
blood pressure of 153 and diastolic blood pressure of 84. Every day for
two weeks, they ate a 100-gram candy bar and were asked to balance its 480
calories by not eating other foods similar in nutrients and calories.
Half the patients got dark chocolate and half got white chocolate. Those
who ate dark chocolate had a significant drop in blood pressure (by an
average of 5 points for systolic and an average of 2 points for diastolic
blood pressure). Those who ate white chocolate did not.
As reported by Prevention.com, February 2005, recent Norwegian research
suggests chocolate may also shield women's' breasts from cancer especially
if you're obese. The dark variety is known to elevate the HDL or good
cholesterol known to protect against breast cancer after menopause.
So for your Superbowl snacks you might try dark berries, dark beer and dark
chocolate. As for me I intend to go to my favorite choclatier and buy a
dozen or more 2 oz. chocolate footballs for a local bowl party. Some may
prefer Godiva or Aphrodite but since I live in Newport Beach I'll order the
best "Chocolates by Golda" since they are made right here. Just like
fresh beer fresh chocolate is the best.
Says the real "Golda," (who recently sold her company), "Dark chocolate is
for the real romantic and it tastes far better than all those pills,
capsules and vitamins."
To which we add, don't forget that after the Superbowl is over
Valentines Day and Easter approach with the speed of the North winds.
Editor's Note: Michael Arnold Glueck, MD., wrote this week's commentary.
Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D., is a multiple award winning writer who comments
on medical-legal issues. Robert J. Cihak, M.D., is a Discovery Institute
Senior Fellow and a past president of the Association of American Physicians
and Surgeons. Both JWR contributors are Harvard trained diagnostic radiologists.
Comment by clicking here.
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