What Science Says about Chocolate
Approximately 2,500 studies have investigated the potential health benefits of chocolate, cocoa and cacao. Hundreds of research teams associated with universities and research institutions around the world are involved in this research. Below are just a few quotes from the many studies on healthy chocolate:
“Cocoa flavonoids have shown a powerful antioxidant activity providing protection against oxidation and helping prevent oxidative stress-related diseases.”
J Nutr Biochem. 2009 Feb 4.
“Flavonoid-rich dark chocolate intake significantly improved coronary circulation in healthy adults.”
Int J Cardiol. 2009 Jan 24;131(3):424-9.
“Ingested cocoa can prevent high-fat diet-induced obesity by modulating lipid metabolism, especially by decreasing fatty acid synthesis and transport systems, and enhancement of part of the thermogenesis mechanism in liver and white adipose tissue.”
Nutrition. 2005 May;21(5):594-601.
“Our findings suggest that [cocoa procyanidins] inhibits diabetes-induced cataract formation possibly by virtue of its antioxidative activity.”
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2004 Jan;229(1):33-9.
“The prospect of increasing cerebral perfusion [blood flow] with cocoa flavanols is extremely promising.”
J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2006;47 Suppl 2:S210-4.
“Chocolate preference in old age was associated with better health, optimism and better psychological well-being.”
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2008 Feb;62(2):247-53.
“Studies in this line suggest that high-dose cocoa intake in young rats favours the T helper 1 (Th1) response and increases intestinal gammadelta T lymphocyte count.”
Br J Nutr. 2009 Apr;101(7):931-40.
“Our study demonstrated that regular consumption of a chocolate rich in flavanols confers significant photoprotection and can thus be effective at protecting human skin from harmful UV effects.”
J Cosmet Dermatol. 2009 Sep;8(3):169-73.
“The results of this study suggest that chocolate milk is an effective recovery aid between two exhausting exercise bouts.”
Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006 Feb;16(1):78-91.
“Consuming a cocoa-enriched diet could diminish periodontitis-induced oxidative stress, which, in turn, might suppress the progression of periodontitis.”
J Periodontol. 2009 Nov;80(11):1799-808.
Perfect Combination - Science Video
Inflammation Control at Heart of Cocoa’s Benefits
Many of the studies on cocoa point to its apparent inflammation-fighting ability as a key contributor to other health benefits. In addition, most scientists in the field of chocolate research agree that one of cocoa’s primary benefits is its ability to prevent or even reverse inflammatory response in the body.