News / Health

Scientists To Study Chocolate's Health Benefits

Scientists To Study Chocolate's Health Benefitsi
X
March 24, 2014 9:17 AM
Dark chocolate is known to help prevent heart disease. But eating too much of it may be not so good for your body weight. But never fear! Scientists are looking for a way to concentrate dark chocolate's helpful ingredients in supplemental pills. VOA’s George Putic has more.
George Putic
Dark chocolate is known to help prevent heart disease, but eating too much of it may be not so good for your body weight. But never fear! Scientists are looking for a way to concentrate dark chocolate's helpful ingredients in supplemental pills. 
 
Cocoa contains chemicals called flavanols that may help reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks by lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels and improving the body's use of insulin.
 
Washington chocolatier Steve Koumanelis said that is one reason dark chocolate is increasingly popular among his customers.
 
“A lot of people are gravitating towards dark chocolate because they just decide they love it, and they also have been reading all about the health benefits of dark chocolate,” said Koumanelis.
 
But those benefits have not been confirmed by studies involving large numbers of people. Also, during the manufacture of chocolate, many flavanoids are destroyed, while sugar and saturated fats are added to contribute to flavor.
 
Scientists now want to learn the benefits of flavanols in their unadulterated form. They plan a four-year study of 18,000 adults, who will take capsules of pure cocoa flavanols, in what is being called the largest test of its kind.
 
Jo-Ann Manson, of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, is the lead researcher.
 
“This capsule of cocoa flavanols will avoid having the calories and the sugar and the saturated fat found in chocolate,” said Manson.
 
The capsules also won't have any taste.
 
Participants, divided in two groups, will take two identical pills a day. One group’s pills will contain flavanols, while the others will get placebo pills.
 
“The amount of chocolate that it would take in order to have this amount of cocoa flavanols would be more than ten times the amount that people would ordinarily eat,” said Manson.
 
Whatever the outcome of the study, Koumanelis said he’s not worried about his business.
 
“People like the experience of actually biting into a piece of chocolate, whatever their favorites are,” he said.
 
The flavanol benefits test is still in the early stage, so scientists are not sure when the participants will be handed their first chocolate pills. In the meantime, they'll get their flavanols the old fashioned way!

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid