LONDON (WKOW) -- More proof that a little bit of chocolate goes a long way: researchers in Germany say small doses of chocolate every day could decrease your risk of having a heart attack or stroke by up to 40 percent.
The study followed 20,000 people for over eight years and found people who ate an average of six grams of chocolate per day, about one square of a chocolate bar, had a 39 percent lower risk of either heart attack or stroke.
But doctors warn you should be careful not to overdo it. Large amounts of chocolate can lead to weight gain, negating the benefits and possibly increasing your health risk.
Previous studies suggested dark chocolate provided health benefits, but this is the first research of its kind to track effects over such a long period of time.
Experts think flavonols are responsible for the changes, by helping to widen the muscles in blood vessels and lowering blood pressure.