(NaturalNews) Imagine a scientist receiving the Nobel prize with a dark chocolate bar held behind his or her back while acknowledging associates, family, and thanking the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences panel for bestowing the honor.
Then the chocolate bar is brought up and munched on with a smile. Later, the scientist praises chocolate as the source of inspiration and brilliance behind his or her inspiration.
Okay, that was a bit of absurd imaginative hyperbole based on an actual study by Dr. Franz Messerli, of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital and Columbia University in New York. It was actually published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
It was published as a "note" on the journal's online edition, not a peer reviewed report. Ironically, though absurd, it's not the worst or most biased study that has been reported in this and other medical journals.
Dr. Messerli is convinced that the flavonals of dark chocolate, as well as in red wine and green tea, inhibit cognitive decline while aging. He has a point, of course.
But instead of surveying last year's Nobel prize winners individually to determine who ate how much chocolate annually, he obtained data from 23 chocolate companies on national chocolate sales.
Then he compared the amounts of Nobel prize winners from each nation to the amount of chocolate consumption per capita. He considered this a factor in determining a nation's cognitive function. Very scientific, huh?
Interestingly though, the nation with the highest per capita chocolate consumption, Switzerland, also had the highest number of Nobel prize winners. The USA, Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Germany were bunched in the middle, while China and Japan were at the bottom.
The only anomaly within the context of this silly study was Sweden itself. They had 32 Nobel prize winners but their per capita chocolate consumption was indicative of only 14 prize winners. Dr. Messerli assumed this was at least partially due to Sweden's patriotic bias.
While it's true that dark chocolate has very high ORAC (oxygen radical absorption capacity) value as a leading antioxidant, with pure cacao the highest ORAC of all foods, Dr. Messerli's methodology for making this report is nothing more than a clever prank.
Ironically, it's more honest than many studies by pharmaceutical companies that throw out negative studies for their self-researched products and submit only what benefits their bottom line. Yet those often do get published.
Mark Sircus posted an interesting video on one of his recent newsletters. It's a TED talk (TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design) by a vigilant, ethical doctor who eloquently and passionately details the whole lamentable corrupt practice of Big Pharma passing on lies to doctors, the media, and patients.