Antioxidants In Dark Chocolate To Alleviate Emotional Stress

There is new evidence, published online in ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research:  Gut Microbiota, and Stress-Related Metabolism in Free-Living Subjects, that states that eating about an ounce and a half of dark chocolate everyday for about two weeks, greatly reduces levels of stress hormones in highly stressed individuals. It also found alterations in other stress related biochemical imbalances in the bodies of such individuals.

The American Chemical Society’s ‘Chocolate Cure’ has shown favourable outcomes during a clinical trial involChocolate Therapy For Stress Reliefving thirty human subjects, who were classified in low and high anxiety traits using validated psychological questionnaires. Scientists evaluated the antioxidants and other substances in dark chocolate that may balance health and reduce risk of coronary disease and other physical conditions. They also evaluated the metabolic mechanisms triggered by dark chocolate that led to a decrease in stress levels.

The evidence gathered from the study explains that dietary preferences influence basal metabolism and gut microbial activity, in turn effecting long-term health of individuals. The present study reports that upon a consumption of 40 grams (1.4 ounces) for fourteen daysof dark chocolate, participants with high stress levels showed a distinct metabolic profile indicative of a different energy homeostasis (lactate, citrate, succinate, trans-aconitate, urea, proline), hormonal metabolism (adrenaline, DOPA, 3-methoxy-tyrosine) and gut microbial activity (methylamines, p-cresol sulfate, hippurate). Biological fluids (urine and blood plasma) were collected during test days at the beginning, midtime and at the end of a 2-week study. NMR and MS-based metabonomics employed to study changes in metabolism due to the chocolate consumption, showed a decreased excretion of stress hormones cortisol and catecholamines in urine. The report also found normalized stress related differences in energy metabolism and gut microbial activities.

According to the abstract, “The study provides strong evidence that a daily consumption of 40 g of dark chocolate during a period of 2 weeks is sufficient to modify the metabolism of free living and healthy human subjects, as per variation of both host and gut microbial metabolism.”

Article by Snigdha Taduri for Biomed-ME