In June 2018 researchers from Italy, Austria and the UK reviewed the scientific literature to assess the different health outcomes associated with chocolate consumption. A total of 240 articles were identified which included 36 observational studies (involving 1,061,637 individuals) and 48 interventional studies. Results showed some evidence that chocolate consumption may be associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke and diabetes type 2. There was also some evidence that chocolate consumption was associated with improved flow-mediated dilatation (ie widening of an artery when blood flow increases in that artery) and insulin resistance markers (ie results of tests used to assess risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes). However, chocolate consumption did not appear to be associated with better mood or cognitive function. The researchers concluded that there was some evidence to suggest that chocolate consumption may be associated with favourable health outcomes.
Veronese N et al. Is chocolate consumption associated with health outcomes? An umbrella review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Clin Nutr. 2018 Jun 1. [Epub ahead of print]