Health Tips and Wellness Tips

Chocolate and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

For some time, certain health care providers were warning their patients to stay away from chocolate if they suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, believing that the sugar and caffeine would be bringing their energy levels up too much only to have them drop again. However, a lot of recent studies have suggested that perhaps this advice is wrong.

 

A study conducted by a team of researchers at Hull York Medical School led by leader Professor Steve Atkin created two groups of patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The patients were asked to eat chocolate ever day. One group was given dark chocolate with high amounts of cocoa, the other patients were given white bars dyed to appear like dark chocolate. The study showed that those who were getting their daily cocoa felt less tired and had less trouble with muscle pain and weakness by, among other things, boosting the levels of serotonin, which is woefully low for many Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients.

In an separate study, a team of researchers lead by Dr. Carl Keen in Boston, had patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome drink cocoa every day. One group was given a richer cocoa higher in flavonoids while the other group was given a low “dose” cocoa. When patients were drinking the cocoa with high amounts of flavonoids they reported significant improvement, with one of the volunteers even returning to work after a six month long absence.

While doctors caution patients that this research is still in its very early stages and that they are not yet willing to take any conclusive stand, studies like these and others are showing that chocolate, particularly darker chocolate or chocolate with a lot of cocoa powder, can have a number of positive health benefits including lowering blood pressure, promoting good blood flow and helping to prevent clogging of the arteries, and offers a mental boost for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients to help lessen the “brain fog” many patients suffer from. Chocolate can also aid relaxation, reduce pain, and is a powerful antioxidant. So, while the verdict may be out with some health care professionals many researchers, and many patients, are giving chocolate the green light.