The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. ... In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Highest chocolate consumption = 37% reduction of CVD


Molten chocolate and a piece of a chocolate bar (Wiki)

New meta study:

Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis


From 4576 references seven studies met the inclusion criteria (including 114 009 participants). None of the studies was a randomised trial, six were cohort studies, and one a cross sectional study. Large variation was observed between these seven studies for measurement of chocolate consumption, methods, and outcomes evaluated. Five of the seven studies reported a beneficial association between higher levels of chocolate consumption and the risk of cardiometabolic disorders. The highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease (relative risk 0.63 (95% confidence interval 0.44 to 0.90)) and a 29% reduction in stroke compared with the lowest levels.

Based on observational evidence, levels of chocolate consumption seem to be associated with a substantial reduction in the risk of cardiometabolic disorders. ...

(Click to open large jpg)

A few questions to ponder:

- Is it a real effect or are we witnessing a coincidental correlation, for example the "wealth" effect?

- If real, which factor contributed the most? One can think of several possible such as (a) cardiovascular-protective effects of coconut and cocoa butter, (b) resveratrol, (c) substitution of more harmful snacks and drinks (soda, beer etc), or some other yet unknown factor present in chocolate?

- What is the consumption quantity or threshold to produce a given effect.  (The study did not have the means to quantify chocolate consumption in physical units, due to the lack of published data).

- Since the cardioprotective effect is comparable if not higher than the hugely popular statin drugs (according to the mainstream but questionable studies), it would be interesting to notice how eagerly will medical science community rush to conduct more studies on this topic.  I am not holding my breath.

Added 15-Sep-2011

Chocolate 'as good for you as exercise'



Stipetic said...

Did the study comment on the type of chocolate? Milk chocolate (and its scoops of sugar) versus high cacao? This would be useful info.

FredT said...

self reporting studies? ... how good is the data?
Who paid? ... the chocolate companies?
Does this apply to a damaged metabolism? ... Not likely..

Thackray said...


I'm sure you have seen this:

I read Svensmark's book when it first came out and now this!


Philip Thackray

Stan (Heretic) said...

Re: Philip Thackray's link, solar activity, cosmic rays and global cooling etc

Absolutely! Very true!

I did my master thesis on the solar wind physics in 1980 and we knew it back then! It was a well known effect, primarily because of the well documented Maunder Minimum phenomenon. The CERN's CLOUD experiment only dotted the 'i', so to speak. Or in other words, drew a hefty nail into the green parties' coffin. Vaclav Klaus is the only one among the head of states who knows and talks about it because he is physicist. Other global-warmists are not generally scientists, just some leftists politicians that climbed on that gravy train. BTW I like the author's pointing out the "leftist" aspect of the whole affair - I understand this word as meaning "collectivist". It is a good observation.

Stan (Heretic)


Recommended book (science fiction):

Fallen Angels

You will love it!

Thackray said...


So you have been “on board” for quite some time! The Svensmark book convinced me.

My favorite “subject” line when I email people about this is: “Climate Change? – you bet – much colder!!”

Certainly you have seen this one but I’ll put it here if any of your readers are interested:

Back on topic, a typical afternoon snack for me is 88-92% dark chocolate squares with a small glass of heavy whipping cream. Here in Western PA we have nice source of organic heavy whipping cream. See: .

I am low carb (of course!) and I have taken the opportune availability of the fine Natural by Nature product to develop Truvia based homemade ice creams. Chocolate and Mint Chocolate chip ice creams are a great way to get more chocolate (and egg yolks and heavy whipping cream!) into one’s diet. Recipe(s) available if interested.

As you probably know, the “physical chemistry” of ice cream is extremely well studied (and ridiculously complicated) with the apparent “seat of study” being Canadian : .

Best Regards,

Philip Thackray

Thackray said...


My links got cut off above - how do I fix (prevent) that? I'm not as computer literate as I should be!


Stan (Heretic) said...

Re: broken link

The blog software does not like special characters such as < > & and probably a few other characters, embedded in the text in the normal fashion. If they are present in the link you have to delete them or replace them with equivalent html code as in this table

To enter a clickable link you have to use those characters only in the special way, such as this:

<a href="">This Blog</a>

This will show up as:

This Blog


Thackray said...


Thanks for the computer lesson!

Here is the climate change link that got cut off above:

Climate Change?

Philip Thackray

Neonomide said...

Wasn't the only U-curve study there (Mostovsky 2010) about heart failure only?

"Compared to no regular chocolate intake, the multivariate-adjusted rate ratio of HF was 0.74 (95%CI 0.58-0.95) for those consuming 1-3 servings of chocolate per month, 0.68 (95%CI 0.50-0.93) for those consuming 1-2 servings per week, 1.09 (95%CI .74-1.62) for those consuming 3-6 servings per week and 1.23 (95%CI 0.73-2.08) for those consuming one or more servings per day (p for quadratic trend = 0.0005). "

Stan (Heretic) said...

I first thought that U-shape in the paper is probably due to correlation between chocolate consumption and sugar but then I found this:

Finally, the consumption of biscuits, pastries, candy, ice cream and chips/popcorn, which were all strongly related to chocolate intake, was not associated with HF

I cannot explain that, other than perhaps the protective effect of increasing chocolate consumption beyond 3 servings per week, was somehow cancelled out by the negative effect of sugar, while the lack of detected overall correlation with the sweets including the low consumption zone is perhaps due to a statistical spread. Unfortunately, they didn't publish the other curves.