Monday, January 28, 2008

Chocolate News: Jan. 28, 2008 - Weaker bones?

Does Chocolate Cause Weaker Bones?

A recent Australian study followed 1,001 older women who ate chocolate regularly and found they had weaker bones. The study, which has been getting some press in the past week, points to a potential downside of eating chocolate daily - weaker bones. Many women are already concerned that losing bone mass as they age may lead to a higher incidence in fractures. Apparently oxalate/oxylate, an acid found in chocolate (and found in some other foods we eat as well), interferes with the body's ability to retain calcium. And sugar added to chocolates (which is one of several substances in our modern diet that is linked to excretion of calcium) probably doesn't help matters.

While researchers continue to confirm findings that chocolate is heart-healthy, this is the second piece of "mixed news" about chocolate in as many months. The British journal, Lancet, (last month, in December 2007) noted that many chocolate manufacturers remove some of the antioxidants, and health benefits, when they remove flavanols from chocolate. Presumably this is done to give chocolate a less bitter taste.

For more information, search for stories, such as "Chocolate linked to weak bones" (Indo-Asian News Service story posted from Perth - on 1/25/2008, and updated on 1/26/2008), and related stories that ran in the Daily Mail.

Check also, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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