Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heart benefits may stem from reaction in stomach bacteria, research suggests

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- It's said that dark chocolate can be good for your heart, and new research may have uncovered why.

Louisiana State University researchers tested cocoa powders in a model of the digestive tract and found that certain bacteria in the stomach eat dark chocolate, ferment it and then release anti-inflammatory compounds that benefit the heart.

The study was scheduled for presentation Tuesday at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Dallas.

"We found that there are two kinds of microbes in the gut: the good ones and the bad ones," Maria Moore, an undergraduate student and one of the study authors, said in a society news release.

"The good microbes, such as Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria, feast on chocolate," Moore said in the news release. "When you eat dark chocolate, they grow and ferment it, producing compounds that are anti-inflammatory."

Study leader John Finley, a professor in LSU's department of food science, said, "When these compounds are absorbed by the body, they lessen the inflammation of cardiovascular tissue, reducing the long-term risk of stroke."

Finley said he believes this is the first study to examine dark chocolate's effects on different types of stomach bacteria.

The researchers also found evidence that people could gain even greater health benefits if they eat dark chocolate with solid fruits such as pomegranates and acai.

Data and conclusions presented at meetings typically are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Healthy Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.

Top searches: Chicken, Chocolate, Salad, Desserts, Soup

Healthy Recipe Finder