Eat chocolate, win the Nobel Prize?


When it comes to chocolate, several researchers have suggested dark varieties might benefit the brain, the heart and even help cut excess pounds.

In the conflict of interest section of his article, Messerli, who is of Swiss origin, “admits to daily chocolate consumption.” Despite the tongue-in-cheek tone, he said, he does believe chocolate has real health effects, although he warns people to stay away from the sweeter kinds.

Many researchers, however, say the evidence is far from impressive at this point.

“Certainly I have never seen anything that has made me start adding (chocolate) to my diet,” said Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, an assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa in Canada.

While he appreciates the jocular nature of the new report, he said both the media and journals are guilty of being too gullible when it comes to cocoa.

“It’s a little bit disappointing to see such a regular occurrence of publishing data that really are not strong enough to be conclusive, but will be reported on effusively,” Freedhoff, an obesity expert, told Reuters Health.

“Our never-ending quest for super foods and the perfect diet is what’s messing us up from a nutrition perspective,” he said, adding that exercise and balanced meals cooked at home are keys to healthy living.

“We are looking for shortcuts to health, but healthy living does require effort. There really aren’t any remarkable shortcuts,” Freedhoff added. “When it comes to indulgences, we should indulge in them because we enjoy them and without expectations of health benefits.”

Or of Nobel Prizes, one might add.

SOURCE: New England Journal of Medicine, online October 10, 2012

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