Quiz

Getting to the Heart of Valentine's Day

Albert B. Lowenfels, MD

Disclosures

February 11, 2019

Heart Health and Chocolate

Image from Dreamstime

Chocolate, widely consumed throughout the year but commonly sent to a cherished one as a gift on Valentine's Day, has mixed benefits. In a recent meta-analysis, consuming chocolate in moderate amounts (< 100 g/wk) was associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, though the investigators cautioned that higher intakes might negate the benefits as a result of the higher sugar consumption.[11] Another recent study, a prospective cohort study conducted in over 30,000 men in Sweden, found a J-shaped relationship between chocolate intake and heart failure, concluding that consumption of smaller amounts was beneficial but the benefit was lost in those eating more than 1 serving/day.[12] For some patients, eating chocolate, which contains theobromine, a cardiac stimulant, has been linked with supraventricular tachycardia.[13]

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