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Letter | erschienen - EPub | peer reviewed

Chocolate and coronary artery disease

European Journal of Preventive Cardiology 2022 ; 28(18): e51 -

Bibliometric indicators

DOI = doi: 10.1093/eurjpc/zwaa076

PubMed-ID = 33624054


Meisel P*1, Kocher T1


To the Editor: I have read with interest and acknowledge the recent article by Krittanawong et al. 1 published in this journal. The authors identified six prospective studies published between 2007 and 2018 in which chocolate consumption was related to the incidence of coronary artery disease (CAD). Reported risk ratio was 0.92 (95%C.I. 0.86-0.99). Cacao beans, a main ingredient of chocolate, contain more than 600 plant chemicals. The authors claim that different constituents from cocoa products may provide cardio-protective effects such as flavanols, methylxanthines, polyphenols, and stearic acid. Thus, the question arises whether the beneficial effects are induced by these single ingredients of dark chocolate or, at best, whether the effects recognised are the result of multifactorial interactions of nutrients present in cocoa. One of the nutrients often neglected in this and similar reviews is magnesium. Dark chocolate is known to be rich in magnesium, concentration being in the range 200-300mg/100g. 2 Actually, the NHS recommends 300mg magnesium a day for men (19 to 64 years) and 270mg a day for women (19 to 64 years) - then a bar of dark chocolate may well supply the recommended daily allowance of magnesium (U.S. NIH RDA 420 and 320 mg/day, respectively). Milk chocolate contains only a fraction of this amount, white chocolate nothing at all. Due to magnesiums’ physiological role, there are many reports describing its beneficial health effects. Due to its blood pressure lowering effects, its anti-inflammatory potential, because epidemiologically inversely related to CAD, dark chocolate was suggested as a potential prophylactic agent to reduce the CAD risk. 3 In the recently published ARIC study, the incidence of CAD, defined as mortality or myocardial infarction, was related to serum magnesium concentration. 4 Thus, all the single ingredients of dark chocolate mentioned above as well as magnesium are known for their beneficial effects. Especially, lowering of blood pressure was reported in different studies comparing in trials dark with white chocolate. Studies are warranted to examine whether the beneficial effects on CAD are really the result of single nutrients in cacao or rather a biologically effective combination of all of them. Pharmacological actions of magnesium within such a combination should be taken into consideration. 5 Similar deliberations may also apply to nuts, which are likewise rich in magnesium. Health-related biological effects of magnesium in its interaction with other food components from whole foods are important (see also A. Melse-Boonstra. doi:10.3389/fnut.2020.00101) and may explain much of the variability in observed outcomes. References 1. Krittanawong C, Narasimhan B, Wang Z, et al. Association between chocolate consumption and rik of coronary artery disease. A systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Prevent Cardiol 2020; online ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1177/2047487320936787 2. Cinquanta L, Di Cesare C , Manoni R. Mineral essential elements for nutrition in different chocolate products. Int J Food Sci Nutr 2016; 67:773-778. 3. Di Castelnuovo A, di Giuseppe R, Iacoviello L, et al. Consumption of cocoa, tea and coffee and risk of cardiovascular disease. Eur J Intern Med 2012; 23: 15-25. 4. Rooney MR, Alonso A, Folsom AR, et al. Serum magnesium and the incidence of coronary artery disease over a median 27 years of follow-up in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study and a meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr 2020; 111: 52-60. 5. Bukoski RD. Reactive oxygen species. The missing link between magnesium deficiency and hypertension? J Hypertens 2002; 20: 2141-2143.

Published in

European Journal of Preventive Cardiology

Year 2022
Impact Factor (2022)
Volume 28
Issue 18
Pages e51 -
Open Access nein
Peer reviewed ja
Article type Letter
Article state erschienen - EPub
DOI doi: 10.1093/eurjpc/zwaa076
PubMed-ID 33624054

Common journal data

ISSN: 2047-4873
eISSN: 2047-4881
Country: ENGLAND
Language: English

Impact factor trend

Year Impact Factor
2013 2.675
2014 3.319
2015 3.361
2016 3.606
2017 4.542
2018 5.64
2019 5.864
2020 7.804
2021 8.526

Key field of research at the University

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