Photographed By Ruby Yeh.
The good news about chocolate just keeps pouring in. It's no secret that dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and other compounds that help boost brain function and mood as well as contribute to heart health. Scientists are even exploring ways to get the beneficial molecules found naturally in the cacao plant into a more concentrated form that can be taken orally, via a pill.
As scientists learn more about this magical substance, though, the headlines are getting even more exciting. New research on specific antioxidant compounds in chocolate suggest that your favorite dessert could be used to fight obesity and diabetes.
In a recent lab study, scientists fed mice a variety of different diets with different levels of fat and sugar. They tested the effects of several combinations of cocoa flavanols on the rodents and found that one set of compounds, called oligomeric procyanidins (or PCs), had a significant weight-control effect when given to mice on a high-fat diet. The PCs were also shown to help the mice regulate their blood glucose levels, indicating that they might be useful as a treatment for diabetes. Of course, further research is needed to get an idea of the effects of the compound on humans.
Although it's not quite an "eat chocolate to lose weight" situation, we kind of love that one of our favorite "indulgences" might provide a key weapon for fighting obesity and diabetes. Pretty sweet, no?