Saturday, March 10, 2007

hot cocoa: the new vitamin?

"a nutrient in cocoa called epicatechin appears to lower the risk of four common killer diseases, work suggests.

among the kuna people of panama, who can drink up to 40 cups of cocoa per week, rates of stroke, heart disease, cancer and diabetes are less than 10%. . .

researcher dr. norman hollenberg, of harvard medical school, says the cocoa chemical would benefit other populations too, including the western world, although he concedes there may be ethnic differences. . .

he says his findings are so significant that epicatechin should be considered essential in the diet and, therefore, classed as a vitamin."

what a finding
! epicatechin is of course one of those groovy anti-oxidant flavonoids chocolate products are so rich in.

long-time readers are already familiar with hollenberg's name: i've mentioned him before. as always, i find the bbc story to be quite strange -- they round up a nutrionist at the end to say, well, this is great, but don't start drinking cocoa.

why not? why not drink a fair amount of home-made hot cocoa, as long as you make it with splenda and low-fat milk?

could it possibly be any worse than all the sugary soft drinks people now seem to carry with them everywhere and sip constantly? 40 cups a week would be tough to do, i confess -- 6 cups a day.

i'm sure the kuna must make their cocoa drink with water. . .that might make 6 cups more doable, but frankly even i might get a tad tired of it in just a few days!

btw, altho' the name of the kuna people may seem at first strange to you, in fact, you probably are familiar with them: the colorful textiles known as molas that have been popular with the neo-hippie set since the 1970s are their handiwork.

what's also interesting is that while all these interesting anti-oxidants appear to affect the body positively, the way they do it seems to be much different than what scientists had earlier theorized. . .they don't themselves directly attack harmful things in the body, it seems.

the body in metabolizing them may create substances that have the side effect of preventing heart problems and other illnesses! either way, more fruits, veggies, wine, and possibly cocoa could all be worth adding to your balanced diet.

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posted by fortune | 7:13 PM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 1 comments

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