On this week’s podcast from the Beijing Hour morning show on CRI Radio’s EZFM 91.5, we spend 5 minutes talking first about an exciting meta-analysis that everyone can relate to: chocolate. This study examined all relevant research and found that regular eaters of chocolate had a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29% reduction in stroke. But which chocolate is best, and wouldn’t sugars and fat outweigh any goodness? Listen and find out. Also, we talk about a Shanghai Daily article discussing a Shanghai anesthesiologist who has started his own medical myth-busting website (in Chinese). For example, he discusses how a cactus does nothing to decrease ionizing radiation from your computer screens — mostly because there is no ionizing radiation from your LCD screen, and also because a cactus has no unique radiation-absorbing property better than any other houseplant or a plate of water.
You can click here to listen to the 5-minute podcast, or click on the arrow below:
Regarding the chocolate case, here’s the abstract from the published journal, BMJ (http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d4488.long):
Results: From 4576 references seven studies met the inclusion criteria (including 114 009 participants). None of the studies was a randomised trial, six were cohort studies, and one a cross sectional study. Large variation was observed between these seven studies for measurement of chocolate consumption, methods, and outcomes evaluated. Five of the seven studies reported a beneficial association between higher levels of chocolate consumption and the risk of cardiometabolic disorders. The highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease (relative risk 0.63 (95% confidence interval 0.44 to 0.90)) and a 29% reduction in stroke compared with the lowest levels.
Conclusions: Based on observational evidence, levels of chocolate consumption seem to be associated with a substantial reduction in the risk of cardiometabolic disorders. Further experimental studies are required to confirm a potentially beneficial effect of chocolate consumption.
And here’s an excerpt from a good review from the cardiovascular website, theheart.org (Chocolate is good for your heart! | theheart.org):
Paris, France – In a city renowned for its love of food, it is only fitting that researchers presented the results of a new study in Paris, France, showing that chocolate is good for the heart and brain. In a presentation at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) 2011 Congress, British investigators are reporting that individuals who ate the most chocolate had a 37% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 29% lower risk of stroke compared with individuals who ate the least amount of chocolate.
In the study, published online August 29, 2011 in BMJ to coincide with the ESC presentation, Dr Adriana Buitrago-Lopez (University of Cambridge, UK) and colleagues state: “Although overconsumption can have harmful effects, the existing studies generally agree on a potential beneficial association of chocolate consumption with a lower risk of cardiometabolic disorders. Our findings confirm this, and we found that higher levels of chocolate consumption might be associated with a one-third reduction in the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.”…
…”These favorable effects seem mainly mediated by the high content of polyphenols present in cocoa products and are probably accrued through the increasing bioavailability of nitric oxide, which subsequently might lead to improvements in endothelial function, reductions in platelet function, and additional beneficial effects on blood pressure, insulin resistance, and blood lipids,” conclude Buitrago-Lopez and colleagues.
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