By Yael Brender
The Department of Food Science and Technology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University have been busy feeding chocolate to mice, and recording the results. Andrew P. Neilson and his team discovered that a certain antioxidant in cocoa prevented the mice from gaining weight, and lowered their blood sugar levels. Sceptical? So were we, but this isn’t the only study to suggest that chocolate can prevent illness.
a certain antioxidant in cocoa prevented the mice from gaining weight, and lowered their blood sugar levels.
Two reports by Medical News Today extolled the health benefits of chocolate. The first claimed chocolate protects against Type 2 Diabetes, and the second said teens who eat lots of chocolate tend to be slimmer. Both studies credit a specific antioxidant, called flavanol, for these benefits.
Researchers of this most recent study found not all types of flavanol are the same, and there are several different types of cocoa. After feeding mice different types of chocolate every day for twelve weeks, the team discovered ‘oligomeric PC’ flavanol was the most effective for maintaining a healthy weight and improving glucose tolerance. Hence, it seems possible that chocolate could help control or prevent Type 2 Diabetes.
The study hasn’t been tested on humans yet, and scientists don’t want to commit to anything concrete just yet; “Our date suggests that moderate doses of coca flavanols or cocoa powder have the potential to be more effective in human clinical trials than previously thought,” they said.
In the meantime, the health benefits of dark chocolate have been well-documented, so don’t shy away from the odd chocolatey indulgence.
By BB Intern Yael Brender.
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