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Posts tagged ‘chocolate’

The chocolate cure for emotional stress is getting new support from a clinical trial.

And what a fabulous time to indulge in a little chocolate than on Valentine’s Day!!

The “chocolate cure” for emotional stress is getting new support from a clinical trial published online in ACS’s Journal of Proteome Research.
The study found that eating about an ounce and a half of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduced levels of stress hormones in the bodies of people feeling highly stressed.

This favorite treat also helped correct other stress-related biochemical imbalances.

Researchers noted growing scientific evidence that antioxidants and other beneficial substances in dark chocolate may reduce risk factors for heart disease and other physical conditions. Studies also suggest that chocolate may ease emotional stress. Until now, however, there was little evidence from research in humans on exactly how chocolate offers the “stress-busting” effects.

In the study, scientists identified reductions in stress hormones and other stress-related biochemical changes in volunteers who rated themselves as highly stressed and ate dark chocolate for two weeks. “The study provides strong evidence that a daily consumption of 40 grams [1.4 ounces] during a period of 2 weeks is sufficient to modify the metabolism of healthy human volunteers,” the scientists say.

Journal reference: Metabolic Effects of Dark Chocolate Consumption on Energy, Gut Microbiota, and Stress-Related Metabolism in Free-Living Subjects. Journal of Proteome Research, 2009

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Chocolate Again Linked To Better Heart Health

Increased intakes of chocolate may decrease the risk of a heart attack victim from dying from heart-related problems, according to a new US-Swedish study.

Eating chocolate two or more times per week was associated with a 66 per cent reduction in cardiac mortality, while less frequent consumption was also associated with smaller decreased risks, report researchers in the Journal of Internal Medicine. The study is said to be the first to assess the possible effects of chocolate consumption on the prognosis of men and women following a heart attack.

The health benefits of antioxidant-rich chocolate have received recognition in recent years, with positive findings from a number of studies impacting on consumer awareness. Chocolate manufacturers are using high cocoa content (over 70 per cent) as a method of differentiation, and cocoa has also received attention for its potential in functional food applications.

Study Details
The researchers followed 1,169 non-diabetic people hospitalized after their first heart attack, and participating in the Stockholm Heart Epidemiology Program. After completing a questionnaire to assess chocolate consumption over the course of 12 months, the participants were then followed to eight years.

According to the results, consuming chocolate less than once per month, up to once per week and twice or more per week was associated with 27, 44, and 66 per cent reductions in cardiac mortality, respectively.

Intakes of other sweets and candies were not linked to any changes in cardiac or total mortality risk. “Chocolate consumption was associated with lower cardiac mortality in a dose dependent manner in patients free of diabetes surviving their first acute myocardial infarction,” wrote the researchers.

“The new findings support increasing evidence that chocolate is a rich source of beneficial bioactive compounds, confirmation of this strong inverse relationship from other observational studies or large-scale, long-term, controlled randomized trials is needed,” they concluded.

The researchers were affiliated with Karolinska Institute, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, The National Board of Health and Welfare (Stockholm), and Uppsala University.

Source: Journal of Internal Medicine
“Chocolate consumption and mortality following a first acute myocardial infarction: the Stockholm Heart Epidemiology Program”