Good news to chocoholics: Researchers have found women consuming chocolates once a week could protect themselves from heart diseases. However, the study controlled trial of calcium supplement among the 1,216 women taken for study.

Trying to find the relationship between chocolate consumption and atherosclerotic vascular disease (ASVD) events in older women, they followed them over a 10-year course.

Artery walls of those with the disease thicken as fatty materials like cholesterol build up.

The women were categorized into three groups based their chocolate intakes — less than 1 serving a week, 1 to 6 servings per week, 7 or more servings per week.

They noted that more than 47 per cent had less than 1 serving, 36 per cent had between 1 and 6 servings, and 17 per cent had more than 7 servings.

Among the 158 of them with ASVD, 27.3 percent rarely took chocolates, 20.7 per cent consumed chocolate weekly, and 20.8 per cent consumed chocolate daily.

Researchers noted that cases of deaths were less common among those who regularly took chocolates.

“These data also suggest that weekly chocolate consumption may be as effective as daily consumption to obtain the cardiovascular benefit, since we found similar risk reductions of 24 percent among daily and weekly chocolate consumers.”

The study appears in the November 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.