A newly released study under the aegis of Nestlé researchers indicate that dark chocolate is beneficial for health and the habit of having a few pieces of it on a daily basis may ameliorate the metabolic response of people who describe feeling highly stressed. Well, the study was published in the Journal of Proteome Research and was the work of lead investigator Sunil Kochhar, a researcher at the Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland. It is to be noted that both anxiety and stress can bring about different changes in physical and emotional states in humans, and in the longer term can also lead to serious health consequences. Furthermore other studies have already shown that diet has an effect upon human metabolism by means of its influence on gut bacteria, and this also can have long term health consequences.It has been learnt, in this case Kochhar long with his colleagues did examine the metabolic response in a group of 30 healthy adult volunteers who were asked to consume two portions of 20g of dark chocolate every day for up to 14 days.
The volunteers had already filled in validated psychological questionnaires from which the researchers were able to classify them into low and high anxiety traits. Again, in order to evaluate metabolic response, the researchers did examine urine and blood plasma given by each volunteer during three test days at the beginning, the middle and the end of the 14 day period. The main measures of metabolic response they looked at were stress-related metabolic changes such as energy metabolism and gut microbial activity. Kochhar and colleagues wrote that they made use nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry (MS) to study global changes in metabolism over the period of study. What was the result? The results showed that: Subjects with higher anxiety trait had a distinct metabolic profile. This profile was indicative of a different energy homeostasis (characterized by lactate, citrate, succinate, trans-aconitate, urea, and proline), hormone metabolism (adrenaline, DOPA, 3-methoxy-tyrosine), and gut microbe activity (methylamines, p-cresol sulfate, hippurate). Dark chocolate reduced the amount of stress hormone cortisol and catecholamines in the urine. Dark chocolate also partially normalized stress-related differences in energy metabolism (glycine, citrate, trans-aconitate, proline, β-alanine) and gut microbial activities (hippurate and p-cresol sulfate). The researchers concluded, “The study provides strong evidence that a daily consumption of 40 g of dark chocolate during a period of 2 weeks is sufficient to modify the metabolism of free living and healthy human subjects, as per variation of both host and gut microbial metabolism.” news from .whatistheword.com
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