Bacteria in our stomach ferment chocolate into useful anti-inflammatory compounds that are good for the heart, reports [s]Medical News Today[/s]. [b]Louisiana State University[/b] researchers told an [b]American Chemical Society[/b] meeting that certain bacteria in the stomach turns the chocolate into anti-inflammatory compounds, that are good for the heart. Another recent study, published in the [s]FASEB Journal[/s], suggested that dark chocolate has heart benefits. Researchers at [b]Wageningen University in the Netherlands[/b] suggested the dark treat reduces risk of atherosclerosis by restoring flexibility to the arteries and preventing white blood cells from sticking to blood vessel walls.
[i]Meanwhile, a big study is being launched to see if pills containing the nutrients in dark chocolate can help prevent heart attacks and strokes[/i], reports [s]Health24[/s]. ‘People eat chocolate because they enjoy it, not because they think it’s good for them, and the idea of the study is to see whether there are health benefits from chocolate’s ingredients minus the sugar and fat,’ said [b]Dr JoAnn Manson[/b], preventive medicine chief at [b]Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital[/b] in Boston. The study will be the first large test of cocoa flavanols, which in previous smaller studies improved blood pressure, cholesterol, the body’s use of insulin, artery health and other heart-related factors. A second part of the study will test multivitamins to help prevent cancer. The study will be sponsored by the [b]National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute[/b] and [b]Mars Inc[/b], maker of M&M’s and Snickers bars.