You know it tastes good. You know it does you some kind of good, but do you know what scientists have actually found in their attempts to find out why chocolate is such an addiction for so many of us? One chocolate manufacturer is making some progress in this area.
Nestlé Steps Forward
The Nestlé research centre in Switzerland has decided (and we hope this isn’t just a marketing ploy) that a precise chemical signature is programmed into your metabolism that decides whether you are a chocolate lover or if you can leave it alone – all of this from testing your blood and urine.
The tests are run by Professor Jeremy Nicholson from Imperial College, London, who founded metabonomics. This science seeks to measure the smallest changes in metabolism, which is the intricate web of chemical reactions running through a body, to see what results from toxins, drugs or illnesses like heart disease. His findings are that gut bacteria plays a major role in breaking down food like chocolate.
Eleven chocolate lovers and eleven who were uninterested in chocolate (all male) were given either chocolate or placebos over a five day period. The process analyzed their blood and urine over the time period. A metabolic summary for the chocolate lovers showed low levels of bad cholesterol but slightly raised numbers for albumin, which is a good protein.
The chocolate lovers showed the same chemical profile even if they didn’t take more chocolate as part of the experiment. The scientists could easily distinguish the chocolate lovers from the others, metabolically. Interestingly, the people choosing to eat chocolate scored better for gut microbial metabolic profiles than those who didn’t prefer chocolate.
So what's the science behind all this? It could be a result of antioxidant polyphenolics, which are found in chocolate and are recognized as being good for you. And then there are flavonoids, an indispensable element of cocoa, the most active of polyphenols. Cocoa beans and chocolate hold more active polyphenols than any other food. Catechin and epicatechin (polyphenols) reach the bloodstream quicker after eating chocolate. This halts oxidation so you can stay healthier. So that buzz you get after eating chocolate may not just be in your head.
Why Bad For Me Is Good For You
The professor’s research further shows that having a preference for chocolate might not actually be your choice. It might be pre-programmed into your system. In general, eating too much chocolate will make you gain weight and won't keep you healthy. But just the same way some people can eat red meat and suffer no ill effects, some chocolate eaters' bodies show no adverse effects. For the rest of us, though, we can't overdo chocolate consumption.
Men Now, Women, Later
So far, the chocolate test results are male based only. The researchers didn’t want to unbalance the results by including women at this stage due to the differences in metabolic results because of their menstrual cycle. (You can bet, though, that when the trial opens to women, there will be hundreds clamoring for a spot!)
The Nestle people are keen to stress that future trials will include women with the results being analyzed both separately and together with the men so see how and why they vary. The chocolate manufacturer also believes that additional biomarkers will be identified through the same scientific tests. This will perhaps lead to finding new health benefits linked not only to chocolate, but to other foods.
In the meantime, there's more good news for chocolate lovers. Recently the Heiss 2010 studies showed that high levels of flavanols (a type of phytochemcial usually found in plants) reduced the likelihood of death by heart attack. This isn't a license to just eat chocolate; the report stressed the need to exercise (so no more lying on those sectional sofas)and to maintain healthy eating habits. But since heart attack is the leading cause of death in the US, it’s good to know that compounds of flavanols found in cocoa and chocolate have enhanced vasodilation – keeping blood pressure under control.
Keep on eating the chocolate; it appears to do you more good than just the taste.
Article by Izzy
made in a chocolate lab where people eat a lot of chocolate and believe in sustainable design for your tongue. for the eco-chic & forward and any one whose tongue is bored and heart plays loud music that no one else can hear.