The “chocolate cure” for emotional stress & anxiety is getting new support from a clinical trial published online Nov 11 in the Journal of Proteome Research – “Metabolic Effects of Dark Chocolate Consumption on Energy, Gut Microbiota, and Stress-Related Metabolism in Free-Living Subjects.”
Sunil Kochhar and colleagues note growing scientific evidence that antioxidants and other beneficial substances in dark chocolate may reduce risk factors for heart disease and other physical conditions. Studies also suggest that chocolate may ease emotional stress. Until now, however, there was little evidence from research in humans on exactly how chocolate might have those stress-busting effects.
The researchers found that eating about an ounce and a half of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduced levels of stress hormones in the bodies of people feeling highly stressed. The chocolate regimen also partially corrected other stress-related biochemical imbalances – “partially normalizing” stress-related differences in measures of energy metabolism and gut microbial activities.
“The study provides strong evidence that a daily consumption of 40 grams [1.4 ounces] during a period of 2 weeks is sufficient to modify the metabolism of healthy human volunteers,” the scientists say.
Source: American Chemical Society news release, Nov 11, 2009