I have found Dr. John Day’s (author of The Longevity Plan: Seven Life-Transforming Lessons from Ancient China) work to be especially informative on the issue and rarely miss out on one of Dr. Day’s insightful messages.
John takes a look at chocolate’s potential relevance for A-Fib patients.
The Atrial Fibrillation Study
In this study, researchers recruited 55,502 people who ranged in age from 50 to 64. They asked each study participant how often they ate chocolate and then followed these people to see who developed atrial fibrillation over the next 13.5 years.
At the end of their 13.5 year study, 3,346 of the original 55,502 people had developed atrial fibrillation. Quite remarkably, those eating chocolate at least weekly enjoyed up to a 20% decreased risk of atrial fibrillation.
For those looking for the optimal dose of dark chocolate, the greatest benefit was seen in people eating chocolate two to six times a week. For chocoholics like me, eating chocolate daily conferred a 16% decreased risk of developing atrial fibrillation.
These findings go against conventional wisdom. Historically, atrial fibrillation patients were told to avoid chocolate because of the concern that caffeine could trigger their arrhythmia. Now we know that this conventional wisdom is just not true for most people.
I need to point out that this was a Danish study. For those who have ever purchased chocolate in Denmark, chocolate must be at least 30% cacao. Thirty percent cacao almost meets U.S. standards for dark chocolate. Thus, the chocolate they ate in Denmark with this study is much darker than what Americans typically enjoy.
Read more here.