Tuesday, October 25, 2011

In the News: Coffee and Chocolate May Reduce Your Risk of Disease

Surprise! Coffee and chocolate may be good for your health, at least as far as skin cancer and stroke are concerned.

Researchers found that the caffeine in coffee may lower your risk of basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer. The more coffee you drink, the lower your risk (Source: MSN News).

The study suggests the caffeine benefit is highest for women. Women who drank the most coffee lowered their risk by 18 percent; men reduced their risk by 13 percent.

Chocolate has health benefits as well, according to a Swedish study that suggests that chocolate may lower a woman's risk of stroke (Source: MSN News). Women who ate two candy bars each week had a 20 percent reduced risk.

Men were not included in the chocolate research, but study author Susanna Larsson expects that the effects would be the same.

Larsson explained that cocoa contains flavonoids, whose antioxidant properties can suppress "bad" cholesterol, a cause of stroke.

Dark chocolate has also been found to:
  • reduce blood pressure,
  • lower insulin resistance, and
  • help keep your blood from forming dangerous clots.
Although Larsson doesn't recommend adding chocolate to your daily menu, she suggests that if you do indulge, opt for dark chocolate, which has more flavonoids and less sugar.

Neither study proves cause-and-effect, only an association between consumption and a reduced risk. 

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