Experts at war over harm and benefits of chocolate

CHOCOHOLICS are rejoicing but medical experts are at war after new research showed eating chocolate could reduce the risk of heart disease by more than one-third.

The news that the fat and calorie-laden treat may be good for you alarmed the National Heart Foundation so much it made a pre-emptive strike against a pro-chocolate study published in the British Medical Journal overnight, saying its own research showed the saturated-fat and high-kilojoule treat could increase the risk of heart disease.

At issue is research by University of Cambridge’s Oscar Franco, whose review of seven studies involving more than 114,000 people found beneficial links between higher levels of chocolate consumption and cardiovascular health. The study says the highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37 per cent reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29 per cent reduction in stroke.

Even the authors urge caution on the findings because the high calorie content meant chocolate could increase weight and blood pressure.

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