Chocolate Week – how the tasty treat could benefit our health

Out of all the awareness days, National Chocolate Week is probably our fave – at least in terms of deliciousness – here at Carrot. But what impact has the little square of chocolatey delight had on the pharma and healthcare industries?

 

Chocolate flavoured medicines

Last month, researches from the University of Western Australia discovered a new way to encourage children to take their medicines.

By producing a formula that makes it taste like chocolate. Because what kid doesn’t love chocolate!

In the study of 150 children, the majority claimed they would take the chocolatey-flavoured medicine again.

It’s thought this new flavour will be primarily used in pre-surgery medications, which often have an unpleasant taste. “Other benefits of the new formula include its accuracy in dosing compared to liquid medicines, the ability for it to be chewed or melted for children with swallowing difficulties and its long storage life without refrigeration.” Looks like an all-round win-win situation!

(We’ve written previously about the importance of the improving the taste of medicines!)

 

Lower cholesterol

Despite being high in sugar and calories, there’s evidence suggests that chocolate could help to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels (we know them better as “bad cholesterol”).

However, for the reduction to occur, the chocolate must contain plant sterols and cacoa flavanols. These are mostly found in dark chocolate, so we’re afraid gorging on Mars Bars probably isn’t going to do much good for your cholesterol levels.

 

Cognitive function

Scientists have discovered that drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day could help to slow the symptoms of cognitive decline in older people.

Research from the Harvard School of Medicine suggests that a cocoa extract, called lavado, might reduce or prevent damage to nerve pathways found in patients with Alzheimer’s. Drinking this in the form of hot chocolate also improves blood flow to the part of the brain where it is needed.

Who knew a mug of hot chocolate could be so beneficial to us!

 

All the better to see you with!

What’s that we hear? Yet more health benefits from consuming chocolate…?

According to a study by scientists at the University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry in San Antonio, TX, adults who ate a bar of dark chocolate saw a significant increase in their vision in the two hours after consumption.

Not exactly a long-term health benefit – but still a cool effect from eating sweet treats.

 

 

That being said – we’re far from suggesting these benefits outweigh the side effects of eating too much chocolate. So just remember to enjoy in moderation J