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Chocolate, heart disease, and stroke. . . and other stories

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 30 August 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3620

Rapid Response:

Re: Chocolate, heart disease, and stroke. . . and other stories

I never was convinced that eating normal milk chocolate would protect against heart disease. However, Minerva did not refer to the fact that the literature provides evidence that dark chocolate is protective.

The authors of the cited paper themselves (Am J Clin Nutr doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqy073) write: "...we had no data on the types of chocolate consumed by our participants. Dark chocolate may have yielded different results in our analysis, as many of the phytochemicals in dark chocolate are at higher concentrations than in milk chocolate (17). There is evidence suggesting that dark chocolate or cocoa containing higher levels of cocoa compounds (such as flavanols) than regular milk chocolate might decrease CVD risk, by decreasing blood pressure (18), body weight (19), or diabetes risk (3, 20). Nonetheless, high levels of consumption of dark chocolate may also be associated with elevated energy intake".

Competing interests: No competing interests

31 August 2018
Michael M Kochen
Emeritus professor of general practice
Universities of Goettingen and Freiburg
D-79104 Freiburg, Germany