Dark chocolate eases emotional stress

- November 12, 2009

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Nov 12, 2009 (UPI via COMTEX) -- Swiss scientists say people who are stressed and reach for dark chocolate -- the "chocolate cure" -- do seem to experience less emotional stress.

Sunil Kochhar of the Nestle Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, conducted a clinical trial involving 30 human subjects, who were classified in low and high anxiety traits using validated psychological questionnaires.

Urine and blood plasma were collected during three test days at the beginning, mid-time and at the end of a two-week study.

Kochhar said human subjects with higher anxiety trait showed a distinct metabolic profile indicative of a different energy homeostasis, hormonal metabolism and gut microbial activity.

The study, published in the Journal of Proteome Research, found eating about one-and-one-half ounce of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduced levels of stress hormones in the bodies of people who say they feel highly stressed.

"The study provides strong evidence that a daily consumption of 40 grams -- 1.4 ounces (of dark chocolate) -- during a period of two weeks is sufficient to modify the metabolism of healthy human volunteers," the researchers said in a statement.


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