08 December 2006

Chocolate Friday!

Since it's Friday, and I miss Jon's Chocolate Friday posts, I'm creating my own. However, since this blog is features my perspectives on chiropractic, I'll make it a health-related chocolate post. Sweetriot collected some decidedly good chocolate health facts, but I decided to find my own. Eight chocolate health-related research topics for the eighth day of December. Enjoy, and eat some chocolate!!

1. Chocolate as an Anti-Oxidant
Vinson JA, et al. of the University of Scranton published a study in the J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Oct 18;54(21):8071-6. stating that "chocolate is a powerful ex vivo and in vivo antioxidant, an antiatherosclerotic agent in an animal model, and a significant contributor to antioxidants in the European and American Diets." You can read the abstract here.

2. Improve Heart Health with Chocolate

Wang-Polagruto JF, et al. of the Dept. of Nutrition at Univ of California-Davis performed a study to determine whether chronic consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa improves endothelial function and decreases vascular cell adhesion molecule in hypercholesterolemic postmenopausal women, primarily by seeking for an increase in cardiovascular markers with chronic flavenol consumption. This study was published in J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2006;47 Suppl 2:S177-86; discussion S206-9. Read the abstract here.

CNN discusses chocolate and it's health benefits for the heart.

3. Chocolate Improves HDL Levels

Even better news is that consuming dark chocolate increases HDLs (the GOOD cholesterols). Mursu J, et al. of the Research Institute of Public Health, Univ of Kuipio in Kuipio, Finland found that "dark chocolate consumption increases HDL cholesterol concentration and chocolate fatty acids may inhibit lipid peroxidation in healthy humans". Free Radic Biol Med. 2004 Nov 1;37(9):1351-9. The full-text article is FREE on Pub-Med.

4. Chocolate and Improved Cholesterol Levels

This study by Wan Y, et al. goes a step further to find that dark chocolate increases HDLs, and it makes LDLs (bad cholesterol) and prostaglandins (an inflammatory mediator) more susceptible to oxidation (destruction) in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Nov;74(5):596-602. The complete article is free on Pub-Med.

5. Chocolate & Increased Cognition Function

Although I haven't yet found a conclusive study that indicates whether cocoa consumption makes you smarter, there is a study related to cocoa consumption and cognitive function. The results indicate that further use of cocoa may be used to improve vascular function for people who suffer from stroke, dementia, and possibly migraines. Francis ST, et al. published a study on "the effect of flavanol-rich cocoa on the fMRI response to a cognitive task in healthy young people." This study is found in J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. (2006;47 Suppl 2:S215-20) and the abstract can be read here.

6. Chocolate Prevents Disease There is a study that links cocoa consumption to pathological disease prevention. Fisher ND, et al. studied cocoa flavenols and brain perfusion. Read their abstract findings here. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2006;47 Suppl 2:S210-4.

Ding EL et al. of the Dept. of Epidemiology at Harvard Univ. in Boston, MA. performed a systematic review on the studies regarding the role of chocolate in preventing cardiovascular disease. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2006 Jan 3;3:2. The full text is available for free here.

Grassi D, et al. of the Dept. of Internal Medicine & Public Health, University of L'Aquila in L'Aquila, Italy found that "cocoa reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance and improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation in hypertensives". Hypertension. 2005 Aug;46(2):398-405. Epub 2005 Jul 18. Full-text available.

Not to be outdone, Miesel P. discusses chocolate as a single remedy for diabetes and hypertension. Hypertension. 2005 Nov;46(5):e17; author reply e17. Epub 2005 Oct 17. Read the full-text.

7. Chocolate & Sex
Long-held beliefs circulate that chocolate is a strong aphrodisiac. Well, now there's proof. Salonia A et al. from the Dept. of Urology at the University Vita-Salute San Raffaelle in Milan, Italy found an "intriguing" correlation between chocolate and women's sexual health, whether it's a positive psychological or biological impact. J Sex Med. 2006 May;3(3):476-82. The full-text is free here.

8. Chocolate Vitamin
So, in order to prevent grave disease, ace a test, get in the mood for love, and improve your heart, take your chocolate vitamin! "All we'll have to do is give him a triple dosage of my wonderful Supervitamin Chocolate. Supervitamin Chocolate contains huge amounts of vitamin A and vitamin B...and, believe it or not, vitamin Z! The only two vitamins it DOESN'T have in it are vitamin S, because it makes you sick, and vitamin H, because it makes you grow horns on the top of your head, like a bull. But it does have a very small amount of the rarest and most magical vitamin of them all - vitamin Wonka... It's most useful. He'll be able to play the piano with his feet." - Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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Blogger k said...

I'm going to go grab a piece of dark chocolate to go along with my hot tea now. For the health benefits of course. It may even help me retain things better as I study. Thanks for the info!

09 December, 2006 23:51  

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