Posted on Jul 18, 2016, 6 a.m.
Fifty grams of dark chocolate a few hours before a stressful event may reduce elevations in stress hormones.
Mounting scientific evidence suggest that consuming dark chocolate confers therapeutic health effects, most notably on cardiovascular parameters. Swiss researchers reveal that dark chocolate (125 mg of epicatechin) may reduce elevations in stress hormones, when consumed prior to a stressful event. The team enrolled 65 healthy men, ages 20 to 50 years, who received either 50 g of dark chocolate, or placebo, two hours before a stress test. While stress markers increased among both groups, the dark chocolate group showed blunted responses for cortisol and epinephrine. Observing that: “flavonoid-rich dark chocolate intake buffers endocrine stress reactivity,” the study authors posit that dark chocolate may exert “inhibitory peripheral effects … on the biosynthesis and secretion of cortisol and catecholamines.”
Wirtz PH, von Kanel R, Meister RE, Arpagaus A, Treichler S, Kuebler U, Huber S, Ehlert U. “Dark Chocolate Intake Buffers Stress Reactivity in Humans.” J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014 Jun 3;63(21):2297-9.