Regular consumption of dark chocolate is associated with low serum concentrations of C-reactive protein in a healthy Italian population.
After adjustment for age, sex, social status, physical activity, systolic blood pressure, BMI, waist:hip ratio, food groups, and total energy intake, dark chocolate consumption was inversely associated with CRP (P = 0.038). When adjusted for nutrient intake, analyses showed similar results (P = 0.016). Serum CRP concentrations [geometric mean (95% CI)] univariate concentrations were 1.32 (1.26-1.39 mg/L) in nonconsumers and 1.10 (1.03-1.17 mg/L) in consumers (P < 0.0001). A J-shaped relationship between dark chocolate consumption and serum CRP was observed; consumers of up to 1 serving (20 g) of dark chocolate every 3 d had serum CRP concentrations that were significantly lower than nonconsumers or higher consumers. Our findings suggest that regular consumption of small doses of dark chocolate may reduce inflammation.
The “J-shaped relationship” indicates hormesis at work. Too much chocolate annulled the effect.