Scientists found those eating up to three bars monthly had a 13 per cent lower risk of heart failure compared to those who ate none.
Berlin: Chocoholics, rejoice! Eating up to three bars of chocolates every month can lower the risk of heart failure, a study claims.
However, indulging in such treats on a daily basis may increase the risk of heart failure by 17 per cent, according to researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the US.
The research, presented at the European Society of Cardiology conference in Germany, looked at five studies involving more than 575,000 individuals.
Scientists found those eating up to three bars monthly had a 13 per cent lower risk of heart failure compared to those who ate none, 'The Telegraph' reported.
Natural compounds in cocoa called flavonoids boost blood vessel health and help reduce inflammation, researchers said.
"I believe that chocolate is an important dietary source of flavonoids which are associated with reducing inflammation and increasing good cholesterol," said lead researcher Chayakrit Krittanawong, from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the US.
Most importantly, flavonoids can increase nitric oxide -- a gas which expands blood vessels, helping circulation, Krittanawong said.
"However, chocolate may have high levels of saturated fats. I would say moderate dark chocolate consumption is good for health," he said.
Researchers behind the study said further trials were needed to confirm the results.