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Cesar Fraga, a professor at the University of Buenos Aires, reported at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C., that two hours after eating chocolate, people had high blood levels of flavonoids, antioxidant chemicals that help prevent heart attacks. At the same meeting, Carl Keen of the University of California-Davis reported that for six hours after eating cocoa, people had as much anti-clotting effects as if they had taken an aspirin.

For gosh sakes, don't go out and eat bags of chocolate just because of these studies by respected investigators. All plants contain phytochemicals that can help to prevent disease. Sulforophane in broccoli prevents cancer, allicin in garlic and capsaicin in peppers prevent heart attacks and so forth. Edible plants also contain chemicals that can harm you if eaten in large quantities. We are not usually harmed by our food supply because we do not eat huge amounts of any one plant.

Chocolate comes from plants and does contain beneficial phytochemicals, but pure chocolate tastes very bitter. To make chocolate taste good, it is prepared with lots of sugar and fat. If you eat huge amounts of chocolate, you eat huge amounts of sugar and fat, empty calories that can increase a genetically susceptible person's chances of getting a heart attack or diabetes. Chocolate is candy and a large candy company sponsored these studies.

Checked 5/3/07

June 2nd, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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