Previous studies have shown the health benefits of eating
chocolate. It contains high levels of antioxidants and flavonoids that may help
reduce heart disease and cancer risk.
But now researchers report that some chocolate can contain
high levels of lead and cadmium, two naturally occurring metals that can cause
health issues. Brazilian Scientists tested 30 milk, dark, and white chocolate
products sold in their country, some of which are exported to the Uinted
They found that dark chocolate had the highest amounts of
lead and cadmium, but all levels were below maximum limits set by Brazil's
government, the European Union (EU), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Two samples of dark chocolate did exceed U.S. Food and Drug
Administration sanctions for lead concentration in candies. Lead can cause
headaches and anemia in adults, and developmental issues in children. Cadmium
can damage organs and disrupt hormone levels.
The scientists published their findings in the journal of Agricultural
and Food Chemistry
. The study say possible sources of contamination include
the manufacturing processes, raw materials used and the wrappers in which the
chocolates are stored.