Monday, March 12, 2007

Chocolate could prove to be a lifesaver

Diseases ranging from dementia to strokes could be repelled by a chemical found in chocolate. Professor Norman Hollenberg says the chemical epicatechin could be as helpful as penicillin or anaesthesia.

Dr. Hollenberg has been studying a group of Central American Indians whose diet is rich in cocoa. He sways they rarely suffer high blood pressure and have less heart disease, strokes, or cancer. These people live on isolated islands, and, when they move to the Panamanian mainland, their health changed and they were more apt to suffer from these diseases. This led them to believe their consumption of cocoa had significant impact on their health.

Analysis of death certificates showed that the Kuna, who start drinking cocoa from the moment they are weaned, were 25 times less likely to die of cancer and 13 times less likely to be killed by a stroke.

Death from heart disease was five times less common, while diabetes deaths were six times less common, according to the report in the International Journal of Medical Sciences.

Linked at Conservative Cat
Third World County

Mark My Words

Most of the chemical epicatechin has been removed from the chocolate that chocolate lovers eat. But, in the future, the plant compound may be used to develop drugs or sold as a dietary supplement. So, perhaps one day we will be able to see the effects of this chemical on our lives.

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David said...

Oh, yeh! Chocolate. And coffee. And hot peppers. And beer. All good for ya.


Anonymous said...

Let's see, they lived on remote islands with unstressful lives
with fresh unprocessed local foods, little or no refined sugar, lots of swimming and fresh air.
Then once they move to "civilization"
all the diseases that the rest of us get
start happening.
Hmm, I know it's the chocolate!
Give me a break!