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Chocolate is Great for the Skin …


As if you needed another reason to eat chocolate, German researchers have shown that ingesting certain types of chocolate that are rich in cocoa solids and flavonoids like dark chocolate can fight skin cancer. Their findings are preliminary because they come from a trial of just 24 women who were recruited to add cocoa to their breakfasts every day for about 3 months.  Mars Inc., the candy company that has been experimenting with dark-chocolate products rich in flavonoids, supplied the cocoa powder and partially funded the experiment.

After 12 weeks of consuming the flavanol-rich cocoa, the women's skin was 16 percent denser, 11 percent thicker, 13 percent moister, 30 percent less rough, and 42 percent less scaly than it was at the beginning of the experiment. Although the mechanism for most of these benefits remains unclear, the Düsseldorf researchers suspect that improved blood flow was a contributor.

Chocolate as a Sun Screen?

Last year in the June Journal of Nutrition, Mars’ research team reported that women drinking a high-flavonoid cocoa had 15 percent less skin reddening from UV light after 6 weeks of cocoa consumption and 25 percent less after 12 weeks of the trial. Both figures are comparisons with the same women's response to UV light before the study started. The women drinking the cocoa with low flavonoids showed no change during the trial.

Most flavonoids absorb UV light, and this probably played a role in the skin effect, the researchers say. However, they add, skin reddening is also an inflammatory response, and other researchers have linked consumption of flavonoids to ratcheting down the body's synthesis of inflammatory agents.

For the women getting larger doses of flavonoids, blood flow in the skin doubled over the course of the trial in tissue 1 millimeter below the surface, and increased by 37.5 percent in tissue 7 to 8 mm deep. Similar improvements in blood flow through big blood vessels have been witnessed after people have eaten dark chocolate. 

Could a person realistically add enough flavonoids to his or her diet to produce the benefits suggested by the study? Flavonoid quantities in the richer cocoa were "similar to those found in 100 grams [a little over 3 ounces] of dark chocolate," Mars’ group reports.

Great For The Skin

The cocoa drink provided its flavonoids in a serving that delivered only about 50 calories — far below the 400 to 500 calories ordinarily encountered in candy providing the same  dose of flavanols. The rub is that the cocoa used in this study and in others by Mars isn't commercially available.   With results like these, in an expanded study, I am sure that a new Cocoa Beverage will be making its way to market. 

Chocolate as a Skin Softener?

Chocolate is loaded with natural essential fatty acids, which is what plumps up the skin, and it also contains linolic acid, an anti-oxidant, which acts as an anti-aging agent.

Mature skin would benefit most from chocolate skin care products, but almost all skin types can use chocolate, with the exception of sensitive skin, which can redden.

Cocoa Butter is obtained from the fruit of the Cacao tree.  It has the beautiful, rich aroma of dark chocolate. Cocoa butter is an emollient that has been used for centuries to heal and moisturize skin that has been exposed to the elements. It is known to help reduce the formation of stretch marks during pregnancy by keeping the skin supple and improving elasticity.

Chocolate as a Wrinkle Filler?

Cocoa contains glycerides which deliver moisturizing lipids and fats which plump and firm your skin.

Now that the anti-aging benefits of chocolate is exposed, spas give you a reason to dive right in.


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Disclaimer: Information on this web site was gathered from many sources in public domain such as published books, articles, studies and web sites. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Please discuss your health conditions and treatments with your personal physician.




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