Yet another study has found health benefits from eating chocolate,
according to a report in Medical News Today
Researchers from the University of Granada in Spain found a strong link between high chocolate consumption and low levels of body fat among European teenagers.
Magdalena Cuenca-García, M.D., of the Department of Medical Physiology in Granada University's School of Medicine, and colleagues reported their findings in the journal Nutrition.
The conclusions are based on an analysis of the medical records of 1,458 adolescents from nine European countries who were aged from 12 to 17 years. They were asked to complete computer-based questionnaires about what they had eaten in the previous 24 hours on two non-consecutive days.
The records also contained information about the participants' BMI, waist circumference, body fat measures, and activity levels.
The results showed that higher chocolate intake among the teenagers correlated with lower levels of total fat and fat around the middle, regardless of other factors (including exercise).
Past research has tied health benefits of chocolate to flavonoids — are a group of polyphenolic compounds known to have numerous beneficial biochemical and antioxidant effects. For example, they appear to protect against cardiovascular disease through antioxidant, anti-clotting, and anti-inflammatory properties.
"It's also possible that flavonoids in chocolate may decrease blood concentrations of bad cholesterol and reduce blood pressure," said Susanna C. Larsson, M.D., of Sweden's Karolinska Institute.