#Healthbenefitsofchocolate, #PubMed, #RanaDaoud, #AlexMarangoni, #Guelph, #ontario, #Canada
Ottawa, Apr 4 (Canadian-Media): More than 4,000 studies have been conducted on the health benefits of chocolate since the 1970s, according to a quick search of the online medical database PubMed, with more coming out every year, media reports said.
PubMed is reportedly a free search engine accessing primarily the MEDLINE database of references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics.
Registered dietitian Rana Daoud believes chocolates, do not have any health benefits.
A 2017 systematic review of 35 studies on chocolate and blood pressure found a “small but statistically significant” lowering of blood pressure in otherwise healthy people.
These studies being of short duration, none of them measured the effects of chocolate on the health consequences of blood pressure like heart attacks or strokes, were considered unreliable.
Chocolate contains flavanols which have antioxidant properties, but Daoud and the Mars Center for Cocoa Health Science (affiliated with the Mars chocolate company) said many of those can be destroyed in the manufacturing process.
The same compounds are also found in ordinary foods like tea and blueberries.
Dark chocolate is not that much better, from a calorie point of view. In the labels for dark chocolate versus milk chocolate, the calories are the same.
The health benefits of chocolate’s flavanols could be had by adding cacao powder to a skim milk latte rather than eating a chocolate bar, said Daoud and added that it can be enjoyed as a treat.
The main reason for researching on chocolates is reportedly due to its marketing tool.
“Really, you could argue that people are using the health side of it as a marketing tool. To tell you, ‘Hey, buy our chocolate because it’s also healthy for you,’” said Alex Marangoni, a professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Guelph’s department of food science.
An analysis by Vox found that of 100 studies sponsored by Mars, 98 of them had positive results. “Industry-funded studies tend to come out with results favouring the sponsor’s interests,” said Marion Nestle, a professor emerita of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University in an email.
“Everybody LOVES chocolate. Wouldn’t it be great if it were a health food, not a guilty pleasure?” she said.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)