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2014-05-30

In Case of Emergency, Eat Chocolate

According to the latest study on my favourite health food, 50 g of dark chocolate a couple of hours before a stressful event can blunt the rise in cortisol and epinephrine (stress hormones).

In this new study, Swiss scientists used the commercial dark chocolate “Noir 72%," which contained 125mg of epicatechin per 50 g serving. The researcher recruited 65 healthy men aged 20 - 50 years, and then randomly assigned them to receive either dark chocolate or placebo two hours before the stressful event, which subjected each participant to a mock job interview and a mental arithmetic task in front of an audience.


Results showed that markers of stress increased in both groups, but the dark chocolate group showed blunted responses for cortisol and epinephrine, showing a peripheral effect. No changes were observed for central nervous system markers, such as ACTH and norepinephrine.

“Our findings indicate that acute flavonoid-rich dark chocolate intake buffers endocrine stress reactivity on the level of the adrenal gland suggesting a peripheral stress-protective effect of dark chocolate consumption, particularly, since in the chocolate group the unaffected ACTH stress response did not result in correspondingly high cortisol secretion,” wrote the researchers.

Of course, from other studies, we know that there must be other compounds in chocolate that cross the blood-brain barrier (see other studies below related to cognitive health), and there are likely many compounds scientists have yet to discover, so don't think for a second that chocolate doesn't act centrally as this study suggests!

Now, go eat some chocolate.

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Source: Dark Chocolate Intake Buffers Stress Reactivity in Humans



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1 comment:

  1. Cool. I'm eatin chocolate before my plane takes-off!

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