research indicates that, for people who have had a first heart attack, chocolate consumption dramatically reduces the odds of dying from a future heart attack, according to new research out of Stockholm, Sweden.  Read further for the right “dose” of chocolate.

Stockholm and Boston-based researchers investigated over a thousand people who had suffered a first heart attack, surveying them about chocolate consumption over the year prior to the heart attack, then followed their course over the next eight years.

The more chocolate consumed, the risk of dying from heart disease gradually lessened: up to 65% less than those who never ate chocolate.

Now, this is no reason to go hog-wild on chocolate.  We’re not talking about mountains of chocolate.  The categories of consumption in the survey were 1) never, 2) less than once a month, 3) up to once a week, and 4) twice or more per week.  The “twice or more per week” people had the lowest risk of dying from heart disease over the eight years after their first heart attack.

Maybe “twice or more per day” would be even healthier, but there is some doubt about that..

Flavonoids are chemicals in chocolate, especially dark chocolate, that have strong antioxidant properties.  This might  be the source of the health benefits.
If we look at the ability of dark chocolate to reduce C-reactive protein levels (a marker of systemic inflammation), the healthy dose of dark chocolate may be quite small: no more than 20 grams every three days, and perhaps quite a bit less.

The Stockholm researchers didn’t break down chocolate intake into dark versus milk chocolate.

If you’re a heart attack patient, it might be a good idea to eat some chocolate. Check with you doctor.  Regarding the best “dose,” twenty grams of dark chocolate twice a week is as good an estimate as any, according to some experts.

Disclaimer:  All matters regarding your health require supervision by a personal physician or other appropriate health professional familiar with your current health status.  Always consult your personal physician before making any dietary or exercise changes. editors review stories and topics about health and nutrition that we believe are of interest to health-conscious consumers.