Dark Chocolate Lowers Blood Clot Risk

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If you eat a little bit of dark chocolate each day you could be reducing your chances of developing a blood clot, say researchers from Johns Hopkins University, USA. They say dark chocolate helps thin the blood, in pretty much the same way as aspirin does.

The research team had started studying aspirin’s effect on platelets. Platelets are tiny particles in your blood that stick to each other, eventually forming clumps which make a clot. The patients being observed had to give up eating chocolate for the study to be effective. However, 139 of them couldn’t do so – they continued eating chocolates.

The scientists decided to compare the blood of the chocoholics to those who had stopped eating chocolate. They found that the chocoholics’ platelets clotted at 130 seconds (when taken out), compared to 123 seconds for the other people. In other words, the platelets of the chocoholics were taking longer to clot.

They concluded that chemicals, perhaps flavonoids, in the cocoa bean have a biochemical effect similar to aspiring in reducing platelet clumping. Platelet clumping can block a blood vessel and cause heart attacks.

The scientists say we could benefit from either having a bit of dark chocolate each day or a chocolate drink. It is important its sugar and butter content is minimal. The ideal amount would be about two tablespoons of dark chocolate each day.

Many fruits and vegetables are rich in flavonoids.

Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine

Written by: Christian Nordqvist
Editor: Medical News Today