The Health Benefits of Chocolate Part 2

The Health Benefits of Chocolate Part 2

In part 1, it was mentioned that eating dark chocolate helps to lower inflammation and oxidative stress. In part 2, more studies on chocolate bring out the good things about eating chocolates, especially dark chocolates.

A meta-analysis of 24 studies focused on cocoa flavonoids and their effect on cardiac risk factors. This information was published in the Journal of Nutrition.

According the report, cocoa helped lower blood pressure and LDL or bad cholesterol and increased insulin resistance and HDL or good cholesterol.

Study author Eric Ding from the faculty of Harvard Medical School said that cocoa might have been working to help dilate vessels for better blood flow.

Caution in Eating Chocolate Bars

Ding tells readers the study is not promoting the consumption of milk chocolate candy bars for the health benefits mentioned because the study specifically attributes the health benefits to cocoa flavonoid.

In a study by Joshua Lambert, a food science assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University, they used unsweetened cocoa powder. Chocolate make use of added fat, which is composed of sugar and cocoa butter because nobody will want to eat plain unsweetened cocoa.

So the question is how to get people to take a medicine.

The form of the product is an issue. Do people prefer a conventional product or a supplement? Would people choose a supplement that contains 400 to 500 milligrams of cocoa-flavonoid compound or the equivalent 8 to 9 bars of dark chocolate or 32 bars of milk chocolate.

More Health Studies on Cocoa and Chocolates

The Journal of Proteome Research published a study having 30 adult participants who experienced a reduction of stress hormones upon eating dark chocolate in small amounts daily. The study was from the Nestle Research Center in Switzerland.

In England, people who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes participated in a pilot study to eat high and low-flavonol chocolate one hour before meal time. The results favor those who ate the high-flavonol chocolate as they have lower heart disease risk.

Missouri researchers studied rats and found that cocoa ingredients can control the trigeminal nerve’s excitability preventing illnesses such as migraines and TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder.

Another rat study conducted in Spain connects cocoa to a lower risk of colon cancer. It appears that cocoa can destroy precancerous cells and protects the liver from damage by stopping the enzymes that cause inflammation.

Photo credits:  Dark Chocolate by Lee McCoy via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

Categories: Health, Nutrition
Tags: chocolates