Cocoa ingredients decrease stress hormones in people who consume dark chocolate

November 17, 2009

German and Swiss researchers have found that eating about an ounce and a half of dark chocolate each day for two weeks reduces the levels of stress hormones in highly stressed people. The trial was performed on 30 people who were classified as having low or high anxiety. Researchers measured levels of stress hormones in blood and urine samples collected several times a day from the participants in the trial to measure metabolic changes. The participants snacked on 20 grams of dark chocolate mid-morning and again as an afternoon snack

The researchers said people with high anxiety traits had a distinct metabolic profile, and changes that occurred from eating dark chocolate showed up clearly after two weeks with reduced stress hormones and other stress-related chemicals in the blood. The study is published online ahead of print in the ACS Journal of Proteome Research.