chocri

This month, we learned that dark chocolate can help boost skin's natural sun defenses and reduce the incidence of heart disease and strokes.

Dark chocolate is in the news again this week, because a separate study has shown that dark chocolate may be beneficial to patients with liver disease. It's those multi-tasking flavonoids at work again, according to Business Week:

"A Spanish study found chocolate can help lower blood pressure in the liver and reduce damage to blood vessels in people with cirrhosis, a potentially fatal scarring of the liver that can lead to organ failure and cancer. Only antioxidant-rich dark chocolate is helpful, researchers said in a study presented today at the International Liver Conference in Vienna.

Doctors compared white with dark chocolate as part of liquid meals given to a group of 21 patients with end-stage liver disease. They recorded a much smaller increase in blood pressure after meals for the group that ate dark chocolate. Cocoa is packed with flavonoids, plant pigments that act as potent antioxidants (read more in our post on {Chocolate and Antioxidants](http://www.createmychocolate.com/blog/2009/12/30/chocolate-and-antioxidants/)), which are credited in other studies with improving circulation in obese people and warding off heart disease in smokers."

Of course, the same cautions about moderation and an overall healthy diet are part of the study. And as is most often the case, the findings apply to dark chocolate, not milk or white. But if you're interested in the health benefits of dark chocolate, head on over to the "create your own" chocri page and take a look at some of the antioxidant rich berries and heart healthy nuts.

If you'd like to see a drill down on the chocolate/liver ailments story, there's a more in-depth version here.

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