Under the “it sounds too good to be true” category, comes a new study, concluding that “a dose of dark chocolate could cheer you right up by lowering your stress hormone levels.” The study is published online in the October issue of the Journal of Proteome Research.
HealthDay reported that after following 30 “volunteers who said they were highly stressed,” researchers found that “a daily consumption of 40 grams [1.4 ounces split into two 0.7 ounce servings twice a day] during a period of two weeks is sufficient to modify the metabolism of healthy human volunteers” by helping “correct other imbalances in the body that are related to stress.”
Reuters reported, “The study . . . comes amid growing scientific evidence that antioxidants and other beneficial substances in dark chocolate may reduce risk factors for heart disease and other illnesses.”
The researchers said people with high anxiety traits had a distinct metabolic profile, and changes that occurred from eating dark chocolate showed up clearly after two weeks with reduced stress hormones and other stress-related biochemical markers.
But they said the study was small and further research was necessary — while nutrition experts were quick to add that chocolate is high in fat and too much can lead to weight gain issues.