Current Atherosclerosis Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 447–452 | Cite as

Chocolate and Coronary Heart Disease: A Systematic Review

  • Owais Khawaja
  • J. Michael Gaziano
  • Luc Djoussé
Nutrition (William S. Harris, Section Editor)


Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in the United States. The high content of polyphenols and flavonoids present in cocoa has been reported to play an important protective role in the development of CHD. Although studies have demonstrated beneficial effects of chocolate on endothelial function, blood pressure, serum lipids, insulin resistance, and platelet function, it is unclear whether chocolate consumption influences the risk of CHD. This article reviews current evidence on the effects of cocoa/chocolate on clinical and subclinical CHD, CHD risk factors, and potential biologic mechanisms. It also discusses major limitations of currently available data and future directions in the field.


Chocolate Cocoa Flavanol Polyphenols Coronary heart disease Blood pressure Epicatechin Catechin 



O. Khawaja: none; J.M. Gaziano: none; L. Djoussé’s institution received an investigator-initiated grant.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Owais Khawaja
    • 1
    • 3
  • J. Michael Gaziano
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Luc Djoussé
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology and Research Information Center (MAVERIC)Boston Veterans Affairs Healthcare SystemBostonUSA
  2. 2.Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC)Boston Veterans Affairs Healthcare SystemBostonUSA
  3. 3.Divisions of AgingBrigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  4. 4.Division of Preventive MedicineBrigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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