Dangerous heavy metals found in popular dark chocolate products
Could Seattle’s love affair with dark chocolate be taking an arrow to the heart?
With Valentine’s Day bearing down on us, what was commonly thought of as a healthy bite may be dropping on the rating scale.
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Consumer Reports is calling on leading dark chocolate makers to reduce the level of dangerous heavy metals in their products after recent tests found concerning amounts of lead and cadmium in some of their offerings. And they are making Valentine’s Day the deadline to make the change.
In a letter to local chocolatier Theo’s, CR wrote:
Consumers are troubled that many of their favorite dark chocolate bars contain high levels of heavy metals. Many choose to eat dark chocolate because of its potential health benefits and relatively low levels of sugar. But there’s nothing healthy about ingesting heavy metals. Consistent, long-term exposure to even small amounts can lead to a variety of health problems, including nervous system issues, immunosuppression and kidney damage. The danger is even greater for young children and pregnant people, as the metals can cause developmental problems.
Theo’s responded: “The safety and quality of our products is our top priority, and we are confident that our products meet the standards set forth in our industry and are safe to be consumed.”
The National Library of Medicine wrote:
Chocolate is well known for its fine flavor, and its history began in ancient times, when the Maya considered chocolate (a cocoa drink prepared with hot water) the “Food of the Gods.” The food industry produces many different types of chocolate: in recent years, dark chocolate, in particular, has gained great popularity. Interest in chocolate has grown, owing to its physiological and potential health effects, such as regulation of blood pressure, insulin levels, vascular functions, oxidation processes, prebiotic effects, glucose homeostasis, and lipid metabolism.
There are many studies out there, and some show that Theo’s dark chocolate, among others, exceeds the healthy levels set by the reports.
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If you are a big dark chocolate consumer, the high levels of heavy metal may give you pause. But if you’re trying to just enjoy dark chocolate with your champagne this Valentine’s Day, you’ll probably be ok.