“The best effect is obtained by consuming an average amount of 6.7 grams of chocolate per day, corresponding to a small square of chocolate twice or three times a week. Beyond these amounts the beneficial effect tends to disappear,” di Giuseppe said.
Romina di Giuseppe, is lead author of the study from the Moli-sani Project, one of the largest health studies ever conducted in Europe. The Moli-sani Project is funded by the Pfizer Foundation. The findings are detailed in the latest issue of the Journal of Nutrition.
The interviews with the authors and short description of the research can be found at Livescience: Chocolate Helps Heart Stay Healthy. The researchers propose that chronic inflammation of tissues in the circulatory system is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. A marker for inflammation in the blood is called C-reactive protein. The researchers found a relationship between dark chocolate intake and levels of this protein in the blood of 4,849 subjects in good health and free of risk factors (such as high cholesterol or blood pressure, and other parameters).
You can read about possible underlying mechanisms of cardioprotective properties of chocolate in: How does chocolate protect the heart?
Their results are in accordance with a recent study published in The Journal of Nutrition: A Chocolate Bar a Day Keeps the Doctor Away but in contrast to another placebo controlled trial with dark chocolate in healthy subjects published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Short-Term Chocolate Effects on Health.
In healthy subject the benefit opf dark chocolate is a matter of debate. In Diabetes patients chocolate rich in ﬂavanols reverses vascular dysfunction in diabetes type 2 diabetic patients between ages 50 and 80 years, highlighting therapeutic potentials in cardiovascular disease. Moreover, flavanol-containing chocolate was well tolerated. In: Cocoa Beneficial for Medicated Diabetic Patients