Take your chocolate: I mean vitamin

  • Thursday, April 3, 2014

Michaele Duke

Each morning my workday begins with skimming through a number of newspapers from across the country. I don't read all the articles because if I did I'd never get anything written for our local paper.

My interests are in crime and foreign relations. As for the latter I enjoy reading multiple articles because there are always multiple views of the same event. I believe it's good to get both sides of the story.

However, this past Monday morning I came across an article that had nothing to do with either subject. Rather, it was about chocolate and I have to confess, I went against my own advice and didn't search for another viewpoint. This one was way too good...

I am a chocoholic. Dark, milk, or white (white isn't technically chocolate but it's close enough) are on my list of treasured things in the world. So it was with shear jubilation when I saw the USA Today headline "Study to test benefits of chocolate vitamin." As a lifelong devotee of the supreme confection I can testify to its benefits. Now I have even more proof.

Studies suggest flavanols found in dark chocolate helps improve older people's brain health and thinking skills and can lower blood pressure. Now researchers want to find out if it can do more, like preventing heart attacks and strokes. The study will involve 18,000 participants downing two pills (or placebo) every day for the next four years. I was ready to sign up but once I regained my mental facilities I started to think clearly about this groundbreaking endeavor.

The only caveat: swallowing a pill eliminates the holistic experience of biting into a piece of rich creamy Godiva truffle. This is such a complete lack of disrespect on the part of the researchers. Where's the indulgence factor, the soul soothing, crave crushing portion of the puzzle?

They say that a concentrated pill would have to be used because we would need to ingest 10 times the amount of chocolate to equal the medicinal benefits. Ten times? What's wrong with that? Well, maybe a few more calories, and sugar and fat...I'd just have to make "adjustments" elsewhere.

Maybe the scientists should rethink the mode of transportation. If manufacturers are able to create a vitamin that tastes like a gummy, why can't they create the equivalent of a morsel of decadent dark chocolate? I'll be watching the headlines closely...

However, I wonder if the experts don't have it right at all. The healing qualities of chocolate don't lie in any hidden medicinal properties: it's much more simple than that. Chocolate equals happiness. And when we're happy we do happy things. And when we do happy things, out bodies celebrate. So, open your eyes you silly scientists. Melt a chunk or two of Dove Dark on your tongue and you'll come to the same conclusion that I've known forever.

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