2015 Study Indicates Possible Health Benefits of Milk Chocolate

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A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in economics, Edward Anderton formerly served as a project manager with Microsoft. Edward Anderton is currently the managing director of Scarlata Chocolate in Seattle, where he oversees business operations and guides the company’s marketing efforts. While dark chocolate is known to have undisputed benefits when eaten in moderation, a 2015 report indicates that milk chocolate may also offer certain health benefits.

A study based on the meta-analysis of eight previously published studies presented evidence that eating up to 3.5 ounces of chocolate a day may reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease. Researchers found that participants who regularly ate chocolate had a 23 percent decreased risk of stroke and an 11 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The eight previously published studies looked at in the meta-analysis involved nearly 158,000 people, the majority of whom consumed milk chocolate.

Although researchers could not identify a cause-and-effect relationship between chocolate and its benefits, their theories focus on the milk components and flavonols present in milk chocolate. Many scientists believe flavonols have the potential to prevent blood clotting, improve blood flow to the brain, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. However, milk chocolate contains lower levels of flavonols than dark chocolate, leading the researchers to speculate that milk components may play a factor.

Researchers recognized that the limitations of the meta-analysis opened up the potential for other plausible explanations for the positive results experienced by participants. For instance, participants who ate the most chocolate included younger adults, a group that is generally not associated with cardiovascular problems.

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