It may appear too good to be true, but your doctor could soon be prescribing dark chocolate to bust stress levels.
A clinical trial recently published by the Journal of Proteome Research details the study, which provides strong evidence that a daily consumption of 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate during a period of two weeks is sufficient to modify metabolic changes in stress hormones.
The clinical trial was performed on 30 human subjects who were classified into low and high anxiety traits using validated psychological questionnaires. Biological fluids (urine and blood plasma) were collected during three test days at the beginning, middle, and the end of the study.
While the study may very well be accurate, I was personally put off by the fact that the lead researcher, Sunil Kochhar, is employed by the Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland. I’m hoping that this study will be further explored by an outside research institution.
On the other hand, according to the August 2008 issue of Mayo Clinic Women’s HealthSource, dark chocolate contains flavonoids, a naturally occurring antioxidant also found in teas, red wine, and some fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids in dark chocolate have been associated with a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system, and may lower bad low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels.
If you’d like to engage in a personal choco-study, consider purchasing Fair Trade and Endangered Species organic dark chocolate.