Monday, April 28, 2008

Eat Chocolate for Science : a Dream Come True

I was just reading a Reuters news item about how volunteers were needed for a year-long study that were willing to consume a chocolate bar per day for a year. Oh, gee,... twist my arm! :)

Chocolate is one of my favorite gluten-free treats (i.e., gluten-free when not tainted with gluten-containing ingredients or exposed to gluten in a production facility). And, multiple research studies have previously shown dark chocolate seems to have some ability to lower blood pressure, improve the function of blood vessels and reduce heart attack risk.

So, sign me up for the new study! But, sorry, not so simple... I can't get in on this chocolate study because 1) it is taking place in Britain, and 2) the test-group being recruited is initially just women. Bummer! All I can do is hope some local medical research facility decides to follow suit - perhaps the Cleveland Clinic or University Hospitals (both are rather active in medical research). I'd surely volunteer in a second for a study on the health benefits of chocolate and flavonoids, especially if I have to eat chocolate constantly.

Here's the goal of the chocolate / flavonoid study, and how they will assess the impact of chocolate and other related diet / dietary compounds:

The trial starting in June will explore whether compounds called flavonoids found in chocolate and other foods can reduce the risk of heart disease for menopausal women with type 2 diabetes, the researchers said on Monday.

Half the women in the year-long study will eat a super-charged chocolate bar containing 30 grams of flavonoids found in soy, cocoa and other fruits and vegetables. The others will get chocolate without the active compounds.
It will be interesting to see what the outcome of a longer-term study on chocolate and flavonoids yields. I am always looking for an excuse to consume more chocolate, so I hope the outcome proves that cocoa and/or chocolate are helping me in some way. I found the study quite timely, since I just wrote a gluten-free blog posting about eating raw cocoa beans as a gluten-free treat for serious chocolate addicts (like me!)


Lynn Barry said...

Time for a sex change and a move so you can take the test...ok so you are NOT that addicted to chocolate...hehehe

Lauren said...

That does look like a good concept, but(I might be wrong but I heard that)you can only eat those chocolate bars and nothing else.

chefandrea said...

Sign me up too! Although I think eating an entire chocolate bar may be too much for me. I can do with just 2 or 3 pieces a day and be satisfied. I was just thinking about posting a chocolate bar review on my blog starting with the delicious "Lake Champion" Dark I have here by my computer right now. I love your post about the raw cacao beans too. One of my favorite GF treats is a Cacao Bean Smoothie. Yum!

Mike Eberhart said...

Lynn, I'm definitely not addicted to chocolate enough to go to such extreme measures. Perhaps the move to the UK though. lol.

Lauren, I'm rather sure the chocolate is in addition to a normal diet. Though, a chocolate-only diet sounds almost tolerable. he he he.

ChefAndrea, I'm glad you liked the raw cacoa beans blog I did, and that you also enjoy them. Wonderful treats, aren't they? I am not sure I have seen the Lake Champion chocolate anywhere. If it is nationally available, and offered somewhere like Whole Foods Market, I'm bound to run into it (in fact, I will look for it now). But, unlike you, I could probably eat the whole bar in one day if it was good chocolate. :)

R. M. Koske said...

Hm. I thought I'd heard that this study was already finished. I must have read about a preliminary trial, and now they're doing a large-scale study. (The results I read about were very promising!)

Therese said...

Xocai-the healthy chocolate has 4 products that are gluten free. The x-power square is 33 calories and equal in antioxidant value to 3/4 pound of spinach. Our proucts have no added fats, fillers, waxes or presevatives. They have no caffeine or processed sugar, they are also diabetic friendly. go to Thanks, Therese