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Cocoa (in the form of dark chocolate) may improve the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.[1]

Evidence[edit | edit source]

In animal models, cocoa may inhibit the function of type 2 T helper cells,[2][3] increase intestinal T lymphocyte count,[2] and decrease secretory IgA.[4]

Cocoa was also found to significantly increase Lactobacillus casei in pigs.[3]

Chocolate contains phenylalanine, a dopamine precursor, and is rich in flavinoids.[1]

Mendus is running a small unblinded trial to assess cocoa in ME/CFS.[5]

Prebiotic[edit | edit source]

Some evidence suggests dark chocolate may provide benefits to the gut microbiome.

Risks and safety[edit | edit source]

Cocoa (including chocolate) was previously considered a common trigger of migraine attacks, a condition which many people with ME/CFS have. However, more careful examination has revealed that certain things assumed to cause migraine attacks may instead be caused BY a migraine attack that's already in process. The prodomal phase of migraine (the phase before the headache starts) may cause a craving for chocolate. When the headache arrives, people assume it was triggered by the chocolate, but this is not always a correct assumption[6].

Learn more[edit | edit source]

  • Cocoa and Dark Chocolate Polyphenols: From Biology to Clinical Applications 2017
    • "Cocoa polyphenols modulate intestinal microbiota, leading to growth of good bacteria & anti-inflammatory pathway in host"
    • "Cocoa and dark chocolate polyphenols exert antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities switching on some important signaling pathways such as toll-like receptor 4/nuclear factor κB/signal transducer and activator of transcription. In particular, cocoa polyphenols induce release of nitric oxide (NO) through activation of endothelial NO synthase which, in turn, accounts for vasodilation and cardioprotective effects"

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Sathyapalan, Thozhukat; Beckett, Stephen; Rigby, Alan S.; Mellor, Duane D.; Atkin, Stephen L. (2010), "High cocoa polyphenol rich chocolate may reduce the burden of the symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome", Nutrition Journal, 9: 55, doi:10.1186/1475-2891-9-55, ISSN 1475-2891, retrieved November 9, 2016
  2. 2.0 2.1 Pérez-Cano, Francisco J.; Massot-Cladera, Malen; Franch, Àngels; Castellote, Cristina; Castell, Margarida (June 4, 2013), "The effects of cocoa on the immune system", Frontiers in Pharmacology, 4, doi:10.3389/fphar.2013.00071, ISSN 1663-9812, PMC 3671179, PMID 23759861, retrieved November 9, 2016
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jang, Saebyeol; Sun, Jianghao; Chen, Pei; Lakshman, Sukla; Molokin, Aleksey; Harnly, James; Joseph Urban, Jr; Davis, Cindy; Solano-Aguilar, Gloria (April 1, 2015), "Changes in the Intestinal Microbiota and Host Inflammatory Gene Expression in Pigs Fed a Flavanol-Enriched Cocoa Powder", The FASEB Journal, 29 (1 Supplement): 914–4, ISSN 0892-6638, retrieved November 9, 2016
  4. Ramiro-Puig, Emma; Pérez-Cano, Francisco J.; Ramos-Romero, Sara; Pérez-Berezo, Teresa; Castellote, Cristina; Permanyer, Joan; Franch, Àngels; Izquierdo-Pulido, Maria; Castell, Margarida (August 2008), "Intestinal immune system of young rats influenced by cocoa-enriched diet", The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 19 (8): 555–565, doi:10.1016/j.jnutbio.2007.07.002, ISSN 0955-2863, retrieved November 9, 2016
  5. "The ME/CFS Chocolate Study". Google Docs. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  6. Nowaczewska, Magdalena; Wiciński, Michał; Kaźmierczak, Wojciech; Kaźmierczak, Henryk (February 26, 2020). "To Eat or Not to Eat: A Review of the Relationship between Chocolate and Migraines". Nutrients. 12 (3): 608. doi:10.3390/nu12030608. ISSN 2072-6643. PMC 7146545. PMID 32110888.