Chocolate contains flavonoids, which have been shown to treat cardiovascular disease, cancer and stroke. It is also preventive of a number of other diseases. The use of chocolate in chronic fatigue sundrome has not been previously studied. The usual treatments are antidepressants, cognitive behavior therapy, and exercise therapy.
The authors of this article reviewed the effects of a polyphenol-rich chocolate compared to a cacao-free/low polyphenol product in a group of subjects with chronic fatigue syndrome. Ten subjects were studied and they all had severe fatigue. The subjects all spent eight weeks on one product and were switched to the opposite product. The products used were in the form of 15 g bars, and three bars were eaten daily.
After 8 weeks on the chocolate product with high polyphenols, the subjects revealed significant improvement in their fatigue, which deteriorated when they were switched to the non-chocolate product. Also, their anxiety and depression scores improved on chocolate, and deteriorated when they were switched to the non-chocolate product.
Two of the subjects were able to return to work after having symptoms for two years, by going on a high cocoa solid chocolate diet. None of the subjects had significant weight changes.
CONCLUSION: The authors concluded that the results of this study suggest that chocolate, 15 g three times a day, improves the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Read about polyphenols and cardioprotection.
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