You are on page 1of 2

This research paper was introduced in 2009 by a group of scientists headed by Sunil Kochhar with the

aid of his colleagues. This study was published in Journal of Proteome. The main aim of the study is to
investigate the effect of dark chocolate on the metabolism of the average normal person. And does it
have any effect on the anxiety level of the human. Results showed that the dark chocolate may be
considered as a new cure for emotional stress and anxiety. The experiments were performed on a group
of people with different anxiety levels and during two weeks, the research team observed their health
state and analyzed main body components to study the change in their ratios and after many
hypotheses and experiments, the results were announced.
As it’s mentioned in their paper, the majority of studies tried to understand the real role of food on
metabolism. Almost all previous related studies demonstrated the effects of dark chocolate constituents
like cocoa, theobromine and phenylethylamine. It was found that these constituents affect blood
pressure and metabolism. The problem that no previous studies had tried to study the dark chocolate as
a whole product and that’s what inspired the team to do such experiments. The study also shows the
effect of the consumption of 40 grams of dark chocolate on the metabolic actions of the body during
two weeks. A population of 30 (11 males, 19 females) volunteered to do this experiment. Their ages lies
within 19-35 range. They were classified according to their anxiety level and the scores they obtained
on the anxiety trait scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) Test. The STAI test is a well-
respected test which uses a definitive instrument for measuring anxiety level. The score obtained by this
test indicates how much they are suffering from continuous anxiety. Performers were asked to stop
eating chocolate or any products that contain chocolate for 8 days. And then they were asked to
consume a definite amount of chocolate during two-week period. They were asked to eat 40 grams
everyday as two snacks of 20 grams each. Samples of their blood plasma and urine were taken in certain
days for analysis in order to study the change during the period of the experiment. Modern techniques
were used in this experiment such as the mass spectrometer used to analyze these samples. The results
reveal that significant changes occurred to the metabolic profile of the participants and the level of
stress hormones in the urine samples decreased surprisingly. And this confirms that there must be an
effect of dark chocolate on the anxiety level of humans or in other words dark chocolate may be used to
ease stress. They stated that this could have long-term effects on health and it also affects the gut
microbial activity. So a bar of dark chocolate is not only a good present for a friend but it also ease his
emotional stress!
This might be a great scientific discovery. The team worked hard in order to prove their point and to
reach the conclusion they gave in their paper. Their arguments were strong and it’s based on scientific
evidence and observation throughout their experiments. But there still a lot of obstacles against their
claims that dark chocolate can affect the emotions of people. The sample size they used for their
experiment was a relatively small one. No one can guarantee the success of this process just because it
succeeded with only 30 persons of high anxiety level. They could have increased their sample size in
order to offer more reliability of their conclusions. Besides the way they chose people makes their
claims valid only for people with no previous health problems. There’s no way to determine if the cure is
valid also for people who are older or people with heath issues. No control group was used and I think
this is a great mistake. This could decrease the validity of their conclusion as it’s very difficult to ignore
other parameters like other types of food as it’s difficult to claim that chocolate is the main cause. It
might be any other factors. The efficiency of dark chocolate as a cure for stress is unknown. There’s no
way to detect to what extent dark chocolate are really useful. On the other hand this study paved the
road for other research teams to work on the same problem and considering more factors that might be
efficient to reach a better conclusions. Generally the study was acceptable to a large extent regardless
of the drawback as it’s a good start for others to investigate more and more regarding this controversial