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Polyphenols may lower chances of heart disease

Polyphenols are natural antioxidants in chocolate, red wine, green and black teas, many fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Doctors said no prior studies had tested for a link between polyphenols in the diet and heart disease.

In this study, researchers measured the diets of 7,172 people and followed up for four years. Overall, those who got the most polyphenols, 1,170 mg per day, were 46 percent less likely to develop cardiovascular disease compared to those who got the least polyphenols, 562 mg per day. Polyphenol antioxidants include flavonols, lignans, and anthocyanins, all from fruit, vegetable, or plant sources, and which also showed heart health benefits in the study. Doctors said polyphenols provide these health benefits separate from other dietary factors and regardless of non-dietary cardiovascular factors, and concluded that as polyphenols in the diet increase, chances for cardiovascular events decrease.

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