ISLAMABAD         -       Eating chocolate at least once a week is linked with a reduced risk of heart disease, according to research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). “Our study suggests that chocolate helps keep the heart’s blood vessels healthy,” said study author Dr. Chayakrit Krittanawong of Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. “In the past, clinical studies have shown that chocolate is beneficial for both blood pressure and the lining of blood vessels,” he continued. “I wanted to see if it affects the blood vessels supplying the heart (the coronary arteries) or not. And if it does, is it beneficial or harmful?” The researchers conducted a combined analysis of studies from the past five decades examining the association between chocolate consumption and coronary artery disease (the blockage of the coronary arteries). The analysis included six studies with a total of 336,289 participants who reported their chocolate consumption.