Medical researchers studied 1018 patients that were already being evaluated for the non-cardiac effects of statin medications were also studied based on their answer to the question, “How many times a week do you consume chocolate?”
Study participants consumed chocolate an average 2.0 times per week and exercised about 3.6 times per week. Frequency of chocolate consumption was associated with greater intake of calories and saturated fats and higher Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale (CES-D), which all related positively to Body Mass Index (BMI). Chocolate consumption frequency was not associated with greater activity, but it was associated with lower BMI. This inverse relationship whether or not the study adjusted for age and sex, as well as for calories, satfats, and depression.
CES-D is a research tool that measures depression. High BMI is usually considered a risk factor for the development of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes.
The medical researchers look forward to, or recommend a study of the metabolic benefits of chocolate in the diet. Increasingly, research is showing that the quality or character of calories is important, just as the quantity of calories is important regarding the impact of diet on metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is a combination of medical disorders that, when occurring together, increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The American Heart Association/Updated NCEP is defined as follows …
Elevated waist circumference:
Men — greater than 40 inches (102 cm)
Women — greater than 35 inches (88 cm)
Elevated triglycerides: Equal to or greater than 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L)
Reduced HDL (“good”) cholesterol:
Men — Less than 40 mg/dL (1.03 mmol/L)
Women — Less than 50 mg/dL (1.29 mmol/L)
Elevated blood pressure: Equal to or greater than 130/85 mm Hg or use of medication for hypertension
Elevated fasting glucose: Equal to or greater than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) or use of medication for hyperglycemia
Beatrice A. Golomb, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego, and colleagues described the findings in a research letter published in the March 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. No PubMed.gov abstract of the study is available at the time of this post.CLEAR SKIES?  Weather Data for Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
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