We all know that low dose aspirin is known to lower the risk for a second heart attack but it seems there is another dietary habit that seems to do the same thing… and it’s a little more interesting and tasty than popping a daily children’s aspirin.
Chocolate!It turns out that those who eat chocolate consistently after recovering from their first heart attack are more likely to remain living years later. In fact the odds go up the more chocolate you eat.
A recent study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, conducted by a team of researchers led by Dr. Imre Janszky from Sweeden found that eight years after a heart attack those who ate chocolate roughly once a month had a higher survival rates than those who didn’t eat chocolate at all of 27%. Eaters of chocolate once a week had survival rates 44% better than those who ate none. And those who ate chocolate at least a couple times a week had survival rates 66% higher than those who did not eat it at all.
The NY Times reported on this study a couple weeks back. Here are some excerpts:
The scientists did not ask what kind of chocolate the patients ate, and milk chocolate has less available flavonoid than dark chocolate. Finally, chocolate consumption did not reduce the risk for any nonfatal cardiac event…
…while the chocolate eaters in the study had a statistically insignificant reduction in the risk of death from any cause over the eight-year span, the reduced risk for dying of heart disease was highly significant. And it was dose-dependent — that is, the more chocolate consumed, the lower the risk for death…
…Dr. Katz, of Yale, agreed that “there are many reasonable biological mechanisms” for a protective effect from chocolate.
What To Do After A Heart AttackThis finding is a natural fit to the list of tasks to complete after experiencing a heart attack which I’ve already discussed in previous posts. Low dose aspirin has been shown to be beneficial at improving post heart attack mortality rates. Staying positive and in good spirits is another methods to increase post-heart attack mortality rates. The obvious: altering one’s dietary habits and activity levels is an absolute must for post heart attack longevity and now this. Eat chocolate on occasion and you too will be more likely of living out your life to it’s fullest potential.
Of course if you’re going to add chocolate to the list you might as well optimize your diet as best you can. Despite the fact that this study didn’t differentiate between the various types of chocolate it is widely known that dark chocolate is better for you than milk chocolate. Until studies show specificity I’d focus on indulging in the darker varieties whenever possible. Here is a nice essay on the heart health benefits of dark chocolate posted a few months back by HealthyFellow.
Journal of Internal Medicine