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What Doctors Don't Tell You

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November 2019 (Vol. 4 Issue 9)

Dark chocolate keeps depression away
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Dark chocolate keeps depression away image

Chocolate helps prevent depression—but it must be dark. Normal milk chocolate doesn't seem to have any positive effects, certainly not when it comes to mental wellbeing.

Those who eat the most chocolate every day—and that is up to 450g, or a whole small bar—were also the least likely to suffer clinical depression, diagnosed by a health practitioner.

Their chances of developing depression were 57 percent lower than others who ate little or no dark chocolate, say researchers from University College London's Institute of Epidemiology. They surveyed more than 13,000 people, and just 1.4 percent of them reported eating dark chocolate regularly. But of these, only 1.5 percent of the dark chocolate eaters reported suffering from depressive symptoms, compared with 7.6 percent among the non-chocolate eaters.

Those eating the most amount of dark chocolate every day—between 104g, or 3.6 oz and 450g, 16oz—also were the least likely to suffer from depression.

Everyone knows that chocolate produces a 'feel good' feeling, and this is because of its psychoactive ingredients, but it also contains phenylethylamine, a neuromodulator that helps maintain a good mood, and flavonoids, which lower inflammation, another contributory factor for depression.


(Source: Depression and Anxiety, 2019; doi: 10.1002/da.22950)

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