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Dark Chocolate is a Healthy Snack

Dark chocolate has been touted for a while as a healthy treat… in moderation. In fact, a couple years back, an Italian study found that dark chocolate is a healthy sweet snack option, since it can significantly reduce the inflammation that leads to cardiovascular disease

One piece of dark chocolate each day can be valuable to your heart health. But, now you may be able tack on another health benefit to chocolate: liver health. In fact, dark chocolate could be prescribed for people with liver cirrhosis.

Cirrhosis is when the liver is scarred from long-term damage. It’s caused by various things, including hepatitis infection and alcohol abuse.

A study of 21 patients with end-stage liver disease found those who were given a meal with 85 percent-cocoa dark chocolate had a significantly smaller rise in blood pressure in the liver than those who were given white chocolate.

“This study shows a clear association between eating dark chocolate and (lower) portal hypertension and demonstrates the potential importance of improvements in the management of cirrhotic patients,” said Mark Thursz, a professor of hepatology at London’s Imperial College.

Flavanols, a type of antioxidant found in cocoa, are believed to be the reason why chocolate is good for blood pressure… and now your liver health.

(via: MSNBC)

April 20th, 2010

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