Musings of a Dinosaur

A Family Doctor in solo private practice; I may be going the way of the dinosaur, but I'm not dead yet.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Count Me In

I received an email from a needlephobic friend acknowledging my generally negative stance toward quackery alternative medicine, but asking me to make an exception for this:
Dark Chocolate: The New Anti-Anxiety Drug?

The results of this new study are intriguing and shed more light on the biochemical basis behind dark chocolate’s health benefits.
Okay; I'll bite (pun deliciously intended). The idea that consumption of dark chocolate could have a favorable effect on high-anxiety individuals seems plausible. Theobromine and other compounds found in chocolate are structurally similar to other psychoactive compounds such as caffeine. Thus, the hypothesis isn't completely out there. However the study was very small, comprised of only 30 subjects. In the face of these promising preliminary findings, I think the only responsible response is to call for further study.

Lots of it. Study, that is. With chocolate. Dark chocolate. Very dark chocolate.

Furthermore, because of the debilitating nature of anxiety and the vital importance of following up on any possible breakthroughs in its treatment, I would even be willing to volunteer for these very important studies.

As long as there is lots of chocolate.


At Mon Nov 23, 04:55:00 PM, Blogger ccinnkeeper said...

Sign me up too while you're at it :)

At Mon Nov 23, 05:52:00 PM, Anonymous NinjaBaker said...

Is it necessarily dark chocolate? To make these studies scientifically rigorous, they should include various kinds of chocolate. Dark, White, Milk, Godiva, Toblerone, Hershey's.

There should also be studies in the various items that contain chocolate to determine just how much chocolate is necessary. For example, do chocolate chip cookies have enough? Brownies, both cake-like and fudge-like? S'mores?

I'll be in your area this weekend, so it'll be a good time for SCIENCE .

At Mon Nov 23, 07:04:00 PM, Anonymous Dean said...

Although the recent buzz has been all about dark chocolate reducing stress, dark chocolate in moderation has many other health benefits as well, including improved blood circulation, lowered blood pressure, lowered cholesterol, and protection from heart disease, stroke, and cancer. These benefits are attributable to the high concentration of antioxidants in dark chocolate.

At Mon Nov 23, 07:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I volunteer to be part of the control group who eats white and milk chocolate.

At Mon Nov 23, 08:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Delighted that you hit on a topic close to my heart and tastebuds. I prefer milk chocolate but as a card-carrying chocaholic, I proudly announce that I have never met a piece of chocolate I didn't like. Include me in all tests that require the ingestion of any type of chocolate, preferably as part of the control group that behlerblog has volunteered for.

At Tue Nov 24, 09:33:00 AM, Blogger Morvay Réka said...

I had a good laugh when I saw the study comes from the Nestle Research Center in Switzerland.

No conflicts of interest, then. :)

At Tue Nov 24, 10:10:00 AM, Blogger Amy said...

Oh, do share when you figure out how to sign up for the all dark chocolate study. I am all about the science. In fact, when the study about how women who eat chocolate every day while pregnant had happier babies came out (pun intended), I made sure to do that. You know, just in case someone does a retrospective study later on...

At Wed Nov 25, 02:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you write me a 90-refill script?

At Thu Nov 26, 08:41:00 PM, Anonymous Diora said...

If only I weren't trying to lose 6 pounds so I could fit in my size 5 skirts again, I'd volunteer for this study to.

Based on my 100% anecdotal experience, dark chocolate especially with nuts and especially German- or Italian- made helps me with anxiety, but also replaces any depressive feelings I might have with euphoria. Of course, same happens when I eat French pastries and unfortunately I doubt any study would show them to be good for my health.

Unfortunately these good feelings disappear after I look at myself in the mirror or try to button my favorite skirt.


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