Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
Confession: We're pretty bad at remembering to take our birth-control pills. It's gotten to the point where we have to rely on phone-alarm reminders. And, we have a feeling we're not alone. But, this forgetfulness is selective, as we're pretty sure we'd always remember to take something like, oh, say a chocolate pill. And, thanks to a new study, chocolate pills may soon be a real-life thing that you can take to be a healthier (and, we assume, happier) person.
The study is sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and Mars Inc. (maker of Snickers), and will explore the benefits of cocoa flavanols. Researchers will focus on 18,000 men and women in the U.S., using a double-blind test. Previous (albeit smaller) studies have shown that these flavanols can do wonders for blood pressure, the body's use of insulin, and artery health.
Dr. JoAnn Mason of Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital will lead the study. She said in an interview with CBS that protective flavanols are often ruined when cocoa is processed. But, Mars Inc. has patented a way to extract the flavanols from cocoa and put high concentrations of it into capsules. So, while it won't be exactly like popping M&M's, it's a huge step forward in the justification of eating chocolate on the regular. Thanks, science! (CBS)