Chocolate May Help Chronic Fatigue
Natural Antioxidants, Carotenoids, Phytochemicals From High Cocoa CHOCOLATE Are Beneficial For Cardiovascular
Health, Energy and Endurance…
Consumption of a flavanol-rich chocolate product may ease the symptoms of chronic fatigue, according to a new study by
researchers from the University of Hull in England. Results of a small double-blind, randomized, pilot crossover study with ten individuals indicate that daily consumption of a high cocoa liquor-polyphenol rich chocolate significantly improved symptoms of chronic fatigue after eight weeks, compared with a cocoa liquor free-low polyphenol chocolate.
“As both types of chocolate were iso-calorific and had similar glycemic indices and loads, it is likely that the improvement was due to the high polyphenol content within the active chocolate, rather than a difference in of the micro or macronutrient the composition of the two chocolates,” reported the researchers in Nutrition Journal. “The significance of the results is particularly surprising because of the small number of subjects in the study,” they added.
Chronic fatigue has been associated with a range of biological systems amongst which oxidative stress is one of them. According to the Hull-based researchers, the benefits of chocolate may be due to the flavonoids protecting cells like neuronal cells from oxidative stress. They note however that additional studies need to explore this mechanism further.
Tasty Benefits From Cocoa
The health benefits of polyphenols from cocoa have been gathering increasing column inches in the national media. To
date studies have reported potential benefits for cardiovascular health, skin health, and even brain health.
Chocolate and cocoa are different however, and not interchangeable terms. According to a review published in
the British Journal of Nutrition, “cocoa is the non-fat component of cocoa liquor (finely ground cocoa beans) which is used in chocolate making or as cocoa powder (commonly 12 per cent fat) for cooking and drinks.
“Cocoa liquor contains approximately 55 per cent cocoa butter and together this comprises cocoa solids, often referred to on chocolate packaging. Chocolate refers to the combination of cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar, etc. into a solid food product,” added the reviewers.
The benefits of the bean are reported to revolve around the flavanols (also known as flavan-3-ols or catechins),
and particularly the monomeric flavanol (-)epicatechin.
Six women and four men with an average age of 52 and chronic fatigue, as measured using the Chalder Fatigue Scale,
were assigned to receive eight weeks of either the high or low chocolate, followed by two weeks of washout and cross over on to the other intervention.
Results showed a significant improvement in Chalder Fatigue Scale scores following the high polyphenol chocolate
intervention, whereas a deterioration was observed in the low-polyphenol chocolate intervention.
“Since there was a consistent improvement of symptoms with high cocoa phenol chocolate and deterioration with iso-calorific chocolate, a placebo effect is unlikely,” stated the researchers.
“Moreover, the taste panel of healthy people before the study could not differentiate the taste between high cocoa and
“In summary, this study suggests that consuming high cocoa polyphenol rich chocolate 15g three times daily has a beneficial effect in improving fatigue and residual function in subjects with chronic fatigue syndrome over a period of 8 weeks compared to simulated iso-calorific cocoa mass free/ low polyphenol chocolate,” they concluded.
Source: Nutrition Journal 2010
“High cocoa polyphenol rich chocolate may reduce the burden of the symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome”
Editor’s Note: This article is not intended to provide medical advice,
diagnosis or treatment.
Executive Director, Acupuncture Physician
Dr. Riggin is FitFM - Family Wellness , is the Founder and Director of Healing Touch Oriental Medicine. As an inspiring health educator, in-demand speaker and doctor of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Dr. Mary has helped thousands of people completely turn their health around.
Dr. Mary co-hosts and produces the wildly popular radio show "Food is the First Medicine" and her presentations and viewpoints on natural healthcare have made her an in-demand and innovative expert in the natural health world.
Dr. Mary Riggin, produces and hosts Food is the First Medicine Talk Radio Show, and is a popular speaker.She has practices natural medicine in the Tampa Bay area; her passion and purpose is to help as many people as possible. Listen to her weekly on TanTalk 1340AM in Tampa Bay, or online anytime, anywhere at www.foodismedicine.org.
She is former Vice Chair of the Florida State Board of Acupuncture. She has been featured on various TV and radio shows and frequently teaches free classes at community and recreation centers throughout Pinellas County.
She is a published author and was featured in the book A Woman's Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and Alternative Healing, writes and publishes educational newsletters and brochures, and was elected to serve two consecutive terms as President of the Florida State Oriental Medical Association.
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