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There’s nothing like some chocolate cookies, or chocolate syrup dripped over some ice cream or that bar of chocolate candy you need mid day to recover your low energy. HHHMMM good! Well, how about some chocolate for your health? This not an April Fools joke – it’s not April! It has been known for sometime that chocolate had some health benefits but recent studies are elucidating just what kind of health benefits one gets from eating chocolate. OK, so its’ not the chocolate cookies, the chocolate syrup or the candy bar that’s being studied but it’s still chocolate!

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It has been known for sometime that strength is related to health and longevity. However, recent research has shown some direct correlations between muscle strength and mortality. In particular, there were 3 articles of significance reporting these findings in different ways. Reported in the Journal of Gerontology (2006, Vol. 61A, No. 1, 72–77) it was realized that the loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia) was not as important as muscle strength. Until this study, the loss of muscle mass did not explain the relationship between the amount of muscle and mortality. Both men and women were studied to determine the importance of strength as the key marker in old age for mortality assessment.

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Vitamin D, its technical name is 1, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, is the vitamin most widely known as being needed for strong bones. Vitamin D3, called cholecalciferol, is the most bio-active form of this vitamin, is synthesized by humans in the skin upon exposure to ultraviolet-B radiation from sunlight, or it can be obtained from the diet and/or supplementation. It is a fat-soluble vitamin, along with vitamins A, E and K, and is essential for maintaining normal calcium metabolism.

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