There’s a rich body of evidence that links chocolate to heart health.
Now comes a new study that finds people who consume small amounts of chocolate each week have a lower risk of developing atrial fibrillation, a heart condition characterized by a rapid or irregular heartbeat.
“The rate of atrial fibrillation was 20 percent lower for people consuming two to six servings [of chocolate] per week” compared with people who ate chocolate less than once per month, explains study author Elizabeth Mostofsky, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The findings are published in the journal BMJ Heart.
Atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib, can increase the risk of heart failure, stroke and cognitive impairment. It affects over 33 million people around the globe, and an estimated 25 percent of adults will develop the condition during their lifetime, according to an editorial published alongside the paper.