Researchers have discovered through a new study that doctors may start prescribing chocolate to patients soon, after it was discovered that consuming a small amount of chocolate on daily basis can actually lower the risks of diabetes complications and heart diseases. According to Researchers at the University of Warwick Medical School, United Kingdom, the stigma against chocolate will have to be re-examined, considering the numerous benefits hidden in it.
Though chocolate consumption has been perceived as a threat to health, considering its high sugar and fat content, and for a long time, most people believed that over-consumption of the snack can lead to serious health issue, including tooth decay and obesity. New developments have revealed that moderate and regular consumption of chocolate can actually yield significant health benefits – most especially dark chocolate. Researchers have linked some of the benefits of dark chocolate to its high cocoa content which contains high amount of antioxidants, most especially flavonoids– these are substances containing certain molecules that can prevent cell damages.
In the latest study at the University of Medical School, some 1,153 volunteers, within the age bracket 18 and 69, were examined in Luxemburg for Cardiovascular risks. The data obtained on the consumption of chocolate were collected through some food intake questionnaires distributed to the participants. The investigators also investigated whether dark chocolate consumption can be tied to insulin resistance, a situation where body cells don’t respond effectively to insulin supply, and a situation that can raise the development of Type 2 diabetes.
Researchers were able to discover that some 81.8% of the participant consumed chocolate and there was an average of 24.8g of chocolate consumed daily. When compared with participants who did not eat chocolate on daily basis, those who did were found to have low levels of insulin resistance, likewise those who consumed chocolate almost on daily basis had improved liver enzymes levels. The positive effects were discovered to be stronger with higher consumption of dark chocolate.
The researchers of this new issue, also accounted for the age, sex, education, and dietary lifestyles of the participants and found that these factors might have contributed to the final results. For instance, dietary factors such as the daily consumption of coffee and tea, that are rich in antioxidants can provide some benefits of chocolate, including the reduction in the risks of cardio-metabolic disorders. It was also observed that most of the candidates in the research who consumed more chocolate were more physically active, more educated and even much younger than those who didn’t consume chocolate.
Though, the risks associated with Cardio-metabolic disorders, can be effectively reduced through constant consumption of chocolate, because it improves liver enzymes secretion and also protect against insulin hormone resistance. Researchers are quick to point out the importance of distinguishing between different chocolate products, especially those containing natural cocoa, and processed chocolate . Researchers also concluded that lifestyle factors such as physical activities, and diet can help maximize the benefits derived from chocolate consumption on daily basis.