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Wine and Chocolates Claim for Heart Benefit Unproven

Posted: Friday, 31 August 2012 14:39

Wine and Chocolates Claim for Heart Benefit Unproven

August 31 : Speaking at the European Congress of Cardiology in Munich on Monday, some Scientists claimed there is no proof that red wine and especially chocolates cut heart disease and the mechanisms by which they could make a difference have still to be explained, according to heart specialists.

The evidence that dark chocolate protects the heart remains elusive, even though a recent study showed a 37 per cent cut in risk for those eating a square a day. This was only a 'sign', however, and not proof because the study was flawed, said Steffen Desch from the University of Leipzig Heart Centre in Germany, according to a report in Daily Mail.

Some small studies have claimed that chocolate lowers blood pressure and reduces inflammation in the body. 'Despite the studies I couldn't yet recommend dark chocolate as a prevention or treatment in cardiovascular disease,' he said, adding that a more conclusive trial could be difficult because the real thing would have to be tested against a 'dummy' substance that looked and tasted like chocolate.

They have tested resveratrol, which is found in the skin of red grapes and is believed to have a range of life-enhancing properties. Eric Sijbrands, of Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, led a series of studies which failed to replicate the findings of heart benefits from taking resveratrol.

Using it in capsules for four weeks did not lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension, he said. 'Certainly I would never actively prescribe red wine for a heart condition and, even if I was asked about it, I would be cautious,' he added.

If red wine does work, the explanation is likely to be 'complex', he said. Any benefit from moderate consumption is likely to be small and outweighed by the adverse effects of drinking too much.

The Study and the discussion seems to be centered more on chocolates. Jury is still out on the benefits of resveratrol in the form of pills. There will be peer-comments and reviews of these Statements soon from the medical community. In the meantime, we still recommend two glasses of wine for men and one a day for women. We refrain from making any claims or comments on chocolates- editor


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