Older women who eat dark chocolate once or twice a week could be lowering their risk of heart failure, says a US study. It found those eating chocolate once or twice a week cut the risk of developing heart failure by a third, but those eating it every day did not benefit.
The Boston study, in a journal of the American Heart Association, looked at nearly 32,000 Swedish women aged between 48 and 83 over nine years. Dieticians say eating chocolate too often can be damaging and unhealthy.
The study notes that one or two 19 to 30 gram servings of dark chocolate a week led to a 32% reduction in heart failure risk. This fell to 26% when one to three servings a month were eaten.
But those who ate chocolate every day did not appear to reduce their risk of heart failure at all. The researchers conclude the protective effect of eating chocolate reduces as more or less is eaten than the optimum one to two servings a week.