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Rapid response to:


Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 29 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4488

Rapid Response:

Chocolate can precipitate migraine so cardiometabolic benefit is doubtful

The epidemiological studies suggesting that chocolate consumption
prevents cardiometabolic disorders are difficult to believe.1 It has
long been established that eating chocolate precipitates migraine in many
people - which can be due to sticky platelets and amine changes.

In the 1970s I spent 10 years at Charing Cross Migraine Clinic, and
most patients already knew they could not take either chocolate or red
wine without getting a headache. Chocolate is one of the commonest food
allergens in the Von Pirquet sense. Avoiding food and chemical
precipitants not only prevented patients getting migraines but also
lowered labile high blood pressure into the normal range.2

There has also been a similar epidemiological mistake that some
alcohol is beneficial - which is wrong - because alcohol is a cell poison
and blocks cell membranes. I think this flawed epidemology is due to the
fact that sensitive people have learned to avoid alcohol and the same
applies to chocolate.

1 Buitrago-Lopez A, Sanderson J, Johnson L, et al.
Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and
meta-analysis. BMJ 2011 343:d4488doi:10.1136/bmj.d4488

2 Grant ECG. Food Allergies and Migraine Lancet 1979;1:966-968.

Competing interests: No competing interests

08 October 2011
Ellen C. Grant
Retired physician and medical Gynaecologist