In Brief

February 2009 Issue

Keep It Dark on V-Day

Profess your love on Valentine’s Day with dark chocolate and it will go straight to the heart. You may know dark chocolate is rich in naturally occurring flavonoids, those heart-healthy polyphenol compounds. But did you know flavonoids have anti-inflammatory properties that can lower CRP? Dark Chocolate Rx. Two recent studies—from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and from Italy—suggest that regularly eating dark chocolate can lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). The Johns Hopkins study found benefits after just a week of eating 3˝ ounces of dark chocolate (containing 70% cacao solids and 700 milligrams of flavonoids) a day, lowering CRP levels 23% in women. The Italian research—a population study that relied on self-reports—found that just 2/3 of an ounce of dark chocolate (20 grams of flavonoids) every three days reduced CRP.

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