Keep that sweet tooth

Dark chocolate: Courtesy roboppy.

Researchers at the Heinrich-Heine University in Dusseldorf, Germany are proposing certain types of dark chocolate could serve as sunscreen. Their findings are preliminary due to a small test group but are very interesting or should I say delicious?!?

Test Group
Twenty-four women ages 18 to 65 were recruited and participated by adding cocoa to their breakfast every day for about three months. Half the women received a powder packet containing 329 milligrams of flavanols per serving and the rest received packets containing 27 milligrams of flavanols per serving. The primary flavanols were epicatechin and catechin. A bevy of tests were conducted on each volunteer. Obviously, one test involved UV exposure.

Flavanols (Flavonoid)
Flavonoids are natural plant-based antioxidants. Through previous research, the German research team, deduced potent antioxidants (such as those found in certain types of chocolate) could shield skin from sun damage. Most flavonoids absorb UV light. However, research also suggests flavonoids reduce inflammatory agents (i.e. reducing skin reddening).

The Chocolate
Unfortunately, the cocoa used in this study is not commercially available…yet. The cocoa used delivered only 50 calories per serving. Thus, regular consumption won’t “blimp” a person out.

In the June Journal of Nutrition it was reported women consuming high-flavonoid cocoa had 15 percent less skin reddening from UV light after 6 weeks of cocoa consumption and 25 percent less after 12 weeks of the trial. The test group that consumed flavonoid-rich cocoa exhibited less reddening compared to their flavonoid-poor counterparts. Women in the flavonoid-rich group also showed increased blood flow to the skin, increased skin thickness as well as increased moisture.

***So sweet tooth individuals, keep on the lookout for flavonoid-rich cocoa.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Megan's picture
Megan says:

I hope that more studies are done on this and that the results show that this chocolate is effective at preventing sunburn. Then we wouldn't have to worry so much about evenly applying and reapplying our sunscreen. And what a great excuse to eat chocolate!

posted on Sat, 06/24/2006 - 6:59pm
bryan kennedy's picture

Before I read this article closely, I really thought this study was about smearing chocolate on your skin to prevent sunburn. Now that would be a breakthrough, chocolate flavored sunscreen.

posted on Tue, 06/27/2006 - 11:27am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think that it is okey to have a sweet

posted on Mon, 07/03/2006 - 1:44pm
Hannah's picture
Hannah says:

Cocoa and chocolates mmm i eat it all the time. And if this is true, i should live at least 99 years. :)

posted on Mon, 02/19/2007 - 8:40pm

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