Thursday, May 1, 2008

Chocolate & Pregnancy

The May 2008 issue of Epidemiology published a Yale study that suggests women who eat dark chocolate are at decreased risk of developing preeclampsia, a potentially dangerous complication of pregnancy.

The study looked at self-reported chocolate consumption and also at levels of a byproduct of chocolate consumption, called theobromine, in the cord blood of pregnant women.

Those who reported chocolate consumption of more than five servings a week had a 70% lower risk of developing preeclampsia.

The researchers have speculated that the presence of anti-oxidants called flavonoids in dark chocolate may confer cardiovascular benefits.

This does not mean pregnant women should eat all the chocolate they want, as tempting as this information may be. Excess consumption of all sweets can lead to weight gain and other health problems during pregnancy, just as it does in a non-pregnant state.