Chocolate Might Cut Cancer Risks

LONDON (Reuters) - Worried about your health? Want to reduce cholesterol, or even top up your driving skills? Then eat chocolate.
Main ingredient cocoa was seen rich in minerals particularly magnesium and iron, according to a survey released Wednesday.
Commissioned by the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) from findings by the U.S.-based International Cocoa Research and Education Foundation, and announced at a news conference during June 14-17 global cocoa talks in London, it showed cocoa could possibly cut the risk of developing cancer and heart disease.
The survey said cocoa, packed with antioxidants, was a "treasure chest of compounds with potentially beneficial effects on human health."
Antioxidants are compounds that protect against chemicals in the body called free radicals which can damage cells in a way which can cause cancer. Antioxidants have also been found to help prevent plaque sticking to artery walls.
However, the survey said whether any of these benefits were still operative when cocoa was turned into chocolate remained debatable as data on the subject was scant.
"The real reason we eat chocolate is not so complex. It is simply because it tastes good," said the foundation's Dr. Carol Knight.
Bizarrely, chocolate was even seen improving driving skills.
Mars Inc., representative Dr. Maureen Edmondson showed the results of a simulated driving test which indicated participants were less likely to have an accident after eating chocolate compared with cheese & biscuits or not eating at all.
On the issue of whether chocolate was directly linked to headaches, the report said neither cocoa or chocolate "has any reproducible correlation." But stress, linked with a high percentage of migraine sufferers, was often associated with a craving for sweet foods.
Even your dentist is wrong it seems.
An investigation measuring dental plaque acid levels showed chocolate was as likely to cause tooth decay as white bread or wheat flakes because of the effect of "protective chemicals naturally present in cocoa and in milk used to make chocolate."