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Chocolate pill

Researchers investigate disease deflecting chocolate pill

Saturday, March 29, 2014 by: Carolanne Wright
Tags: chocolate pill, disease prevention, probiotics

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(NaturalNews) A new study slated to begin this year at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston will measure the health effects of a dietary supplement made with concentrated cocoa flavanols. The study will involve 18,000 healthy volunteers and will last at least four years to determine if the supplement can prevent heart attack, stroke and heart disease deaths.

Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of the division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and lead researcher of the trial, states that "[t]he amount of flavanols they'll be getting is more than 10 times the average chocolate intake by Americans. Eating this amount in chocolate would lead to significant weight gain," according to Boston.com. Manson and her colleagues will also examine whether women who take a multivitamin lower their risk of cancer compared to those who take a placebo.

The researchers involved in the study are excited about learning whether the use of daily vitamins help discourage cancer development, as well as if cocoa flavanols live up to their reputation of promoting cardiovascular health.

Why eating dark chocolate is still beneficial

If you still prefer the edible form of chocolate, researchers at Louisiana State University have isolated one of the reasons why it's still advantageous to eat dark chocolate -- specifically, gut microbes. Maria Moore, an undergraduate involved in the study, states in Science Daily:

"The good microbes, such as Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria, feast on chocolate. When you eat dark chocolate, they grow and ferment it, producing compounds that are anti-inflammatory."

John Finley, head researcher of the study, expands upon this finding by observing that "[w]hen these compounds are absorbed by the body, they lessen the inflammation of cardiovascular tissue, reducing the long-term risk of stroke."

The team created a test-tube model digestive tract to simulate human digestion. The researchers then tested three cocoa powders by using human fecal bacteria to ferment the non-digestible materials. What the team found was that specific compounds in chocolate are poorly digested, yet, when they reach the colon, beneficial microbes metabolize these elements into smaller molecules, which in turn are more easily absorbed. These smaller polymers demonstrate anti-inflammatory qualities. As an added perk, the fiber in chocolate also acts as a prebiotic, which converts polyphenols into anti-inflammatory elements.

For the optimum benefit, Finley recommends combining a high-quality dark chocolate with fruits like pomegranate and acai berries.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.boston.com

http://www.sciencedaily.com

http://boston.cbslocal.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

About the author:
Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, wellness coach and natural foods chef, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.

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