Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Should Hershey's recent study lead you to eat more chocolate?

Not according to one of the study's lead researchers.

The study involved researchers looking at 45 people who were assigned to either eat a daily 0.8 ounces of cocoa without sugar, 0.8 ounces of cocoa with sugar, or 0.8 ounces of placebo for six weeks.

The findings?

Of the 39 subjects who completed the trial (6 people dropped out of an eat chocolate every day trial?), "flow mediated dilation" improved in the groups consuming cocoa with no sugar (2.4 %) and cocoa with sugar (1.5%) when compared to placebo (-0.8 %).

So are these results impressive? Should you rush out and buy chocolate?

If you ask the study's lead researcher the answer is an unequivocal no,

"While the findings from this study do not suggest that people should start eating more chocolate as part of their daily routine, it does suggest that we pay more attention to how dark chocolate and other flavonoid-rich foods might offer cardiovascular benefits"
So what did Hershey's do?

Click the ad above for a closer look.

Faridi Z, Njike VY, Dutta S, Ali A, & Katz DL (2008). Acute dark chocolate and cocoa ingestion and endothelial function: a randomized controlled crossover trial. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 88 (1), 58-63 PMID: 18614724