A small square of dark chocolate daily protects the heart from inflammation and subsequent heart disease, a new study of Italians suggests. Milk chocolate does not do the job. Specifically, only 6.7 grams of chocolate per day (or 0.23 ounces) represents the ideal amount, according to results from the Moli-sani Project, one of the largest health studies ever conducted in Europe. For comparison, a standard-sized Hershey's kiss is about 4.5 grams (though they are not made of dark chocolate) and one Hershey's dark chocolate bar is about 41 grams (so a recommendation might be one of those weekly).
The researchers found a relationship between dark chocolate intake and levels of C-Reactive protein in the blood of 4,849 subjects in good health and free of risk factors (such as high cholesterol or blood pressure, and other parameters). People having moderate amounts of dark chocolate regularly had significantly lower levels of C-reactive protein. In other words, their inflammatory state is considerably reduced." The findings are detailed in the latest issue of the Journal Nutrition.
The milk in milk chocolate interferes with polyphenols, so the team kept that out of the study.
Bonnie - this is the same reason why you should not assume that you are getting the antioxidant effect from tea or coffee if you put milk or cream in it!