MEN could help lower their risk of heart disease and stroke by eating dark chocolate, a study has found.
In one of the first studies where men and women have been looked at differently in terms of eating dark chocolate, scientists at Aberdeen University’s Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health found that men’s blood quality appeared to improve far more than women’s after eating chocolate with at least 70 per cent cocoa.
Platelets – components in blood which can clump together to help form clots – were found to become calmer in men, which means they would be less likely to stick together and form a potentially deadly blood clot.
Principal investigator Dr Baukje de Roos said: “It’s strange because it’s normally us women who love chocolate far more, but we’ve found it affects us far less positively than it does for men.
“So if your man is tempted to eat chocolate over the Christmas period, which everybody is I think, then try to get him to stick to the dark chocolate.”
However, Dr de Roos still cannot explain why the effects of dark chocolate are far less beneficial in women.
“Although we found that the dark chocolate is both beneficial for men and women, there are different mechanisms at work and the effect seems to be much larger for men.
“Men’s platelets are significantly better behaved than women’s after eating dark chocolate, as they don’t seem to clump together as much and are far less stressed.
“It’s a bit of a mystery why this is. Perhaps it’s to do with hormones but it’s just something we’ll be trying to explain.”