Dark Chocolate Chases Wrinkles

Wednesday, 10 Feb 2010 07:56 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Chocolate can help protect the skin from wrinkle-causing UV damage, but it's not the type typically found in heart-shaped boxes. It's a special dark chocolate that is high in flavanols, which means it's loaded with naturally occurring, beneficial antioxidant plant compounds.

Chocolate has been used medicinally for more than 3,000 years, variously used as a treatment for angina, dysentery, fevers, constipation, and a host of other illnesses. Modern medicine started taking chocolate seriously in 1997, when a Harvard professor discovered that high-flavanol cocoa relaxes the blood vessels, thereby acting as a protectant against heart disease and hypertension.

Now scientists at European Dermatology London say a few squares of high-flavanol chocolate a day helps prevent wrinkles caused by UV rays from the sun, and may even lower the risk of skin cancer. But they emphasized that it has to be high-flavanol chocolate. In a statement in the Daily Mail, the researchers said, "The main mechanism is likely to be the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. But conventional chocolate had no such effect."

Until recently, most health research with chocolate was done using unsweetened cocoa or specially formulated high-flavanol chocolate, since ordinary chocolate candy has had the flavanols removed because they have such a bitter taste. Companies like Mars and Nestle, however, now provide high-flavanol chocolate in highly palatable form. Mars, for example, markets Dove Dark, which is made with a proprietary, specially processed cocoa that is so high in antioxidants that it is used in medical research.

Flavanols are also found in green tea, red wine, and other foods and drinks. However, a 20 g portion (less than an ounce—.0705) of high flavanol chocolate contains roughly 660 mg of flavanols, while a serving of red wine contains about 160 mg and a serving of green tea contains only 47 mg.

Washington-based nutrition consultant Katherine Tallmadge recommends roughly an ounce a day of high-flavanol chocolate such as Dove Dark for health benefits. "Any more than that," she said in an article in the Washington Post, "and you're probably going to take in too many calories for weight control."





© HealthDay

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Comments
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Find Your Condition
You May Also Like
Around the Web
Most Commented

The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read Newsmax Terms and Conditions of Service.

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAXHEALTH.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved