Dark chocolate: consumption for pleasure or therapy?

Giuseppe Lippi, Massimo Franchini, Martina Montagnana, Emmanuel J Favaloro, Gian Cesare Guidi, Giovanni Targher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Traditional chocolate is derived from the cocoa bean, which is one of the most concentrated sources of flavanols, a subgroup of the natural antioxidant plant compounds called flavonoids. Accumulating evidence from the past 10 years demonstrates that moderate consumption of chocolate, especially dark chocolate, may exert protective effects against the development of cardiovascular disease. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain this positive influence, including metabolic, antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, and anti-thrombotic effects, as well as effects on insulin sensitivity and vascular endothelial function. Should these results be confirmed in randomised, controlled, cross-over, multi-dose trials, then the pleasure associated with chocolate consumption might also be justified from health and psychological perspectives. However, since dark chocolate has substantially higher levels of flavonoids than milk chocolate, and milk proteins may inhibit absorption of flavonoids, it might be preferable to consume dark chocolate than the white (milk) variety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-8
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009

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