Dark Chocolate Reduces Heart Attack Clotting Risk

by Chris Centeno, MD /

dark chocolate heart attacks

Dark chocolate has been shown to be pretty good for you across multiple studies. Now a new study adds another neat effect  ̶  a reduction in the type of clotting caused by emotional stress responsible for the Monday morning heart attack. This is the observation that men under stress tend to clot more which can lead to an obstructed artery in the heart.

Dark chocolate contains flavinoids, which are thought to be a type of super food compound. To date, the resume of dark chocolate in health studies is pretty wide and deep. For example, a trio of heart studies last year suggested that dark chocolate could help patients with blocked leg arteries walk and reduced the stiffness of the artery wall in patients with high blood pressure. Other studies have shown that dark chocolate is as good as cholesterol lowering statin drugs in reducing heart attack risk.

The new study looked at more than sixty men who were given either flavinoid rich dark chocolate or a special placebo chocolate with no flavinoid content. Two hours after they ate the chocolate, the men were given stressful tasks like public speaking and mental arithmetic while their blood clotting was measured. This type of emotionally induced blot clotting in men is thought to be at the “heart” of why men get big heart attacks in stressful situations like work. The results? The real chocolate group with flavinoids had a significant reduction in clotting tests with stress compared to the men that ate the placebo chocolate. This reduction was also directly related to flavinoid levels in the blood.

The upshot? Can eating dark chocolate prevent heart attacks just like the side effect laden statin drugs? Other studies have shown promise. This study just adds more scientific fuel to the fire that adding a square or two of dark chocolate to your baby aspirin or red wine may put a dent in your cardiac risk!

Chris Centeno, MD

Regenexx Founder

Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications.
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