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Chocolate boosts brain power!

health and fitness Updated: Oct 02, 2007 12:31 IST

IANS
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British scientists have said that eating dark chocolate daily in moderation may boost health by reducing blood pressure and improving brain function.

Dark chocolate is high in polyphenols, an antioxidant chemical that has been associated with health benefits such as a reduction in blood pressure.

<b1>It also appears to improve levels of serotonin in the brain. In the central nervous system serotonin is believed to play an important role in the regulation of anger, aggression, body temperature, mood, sleep, vomiting and appetite.

Researchers carried out a trial of 10 patients who received a daily dose of 45 grams of dark chocolate or white chocolate dyed to look like dark chocolate for two months, reported the online edition of BBC News.

The patients then had a month off before taking the other type of chocolate for two months. Those taking dark chocolate reported significantly less chronic fatigue syndrome, the researchers said.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition of prolonged and severe tiredness or weariness that is not relieved by rest and is not directly caused by other conditions. It is particularly characterised by profound muscle fatigue after physical exertion.

To be diagnosed with this condition, one's tiredness must be severe enough to decrease his or her ability to participate in ordinary activities by 50 percent.

Those taking dark chocolate reported significantly less fatigue and reported feeling more fatigue when they stopped eating it.

Although more research was needed to confirm the findings, the researchers said patients would not do themselves any harm by eating small amounts of dark chocolate and no one in the study put on any weight.

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