Yet another fine reason to love Italy...
Italian researchers have just announced that consuming moderate amounts of dark chocolate can significantly reduce levels of a C-reactive protein. Dark chocolate may prevent heart disease!
The findings are the first results of a epidemiological study that aims to recruit over 25,000 participants to investigate genetic and environmental factors responsible for cardiovascular disease and cancer. If this first finding is the sort of thing they will be dealing in on a large scale, one would think they won't have to much difficulty finding willing participants. The overall findings of the study will be reported in the October Journal of Nutrition. With enormous human interest story potential, expect to be hearing about this from many more sources than just science journals.
The only downside to this is that, similar to findings for red wine consumption, moderation, moderation, moderation is the key word here. The ideal amount of daily dark chocolate consumption was found to be roughly 1/6 of a candy bar. Still, even in small amounts, this is rather pleasant news.
You can check out the nitty-gritty numbers for the study here on the Journal of Nutrition's webpage, as well as at WebMD, Heartwire, and The National Business Review.