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Sweet surprise: Chocolate could help with weight loss and prevent Alzheimer’s

April 3, 2024

Chocolate lovers, rejoice! The sweet treat is good for your health in more ways than one, reports the New York Post.

A chemical found in chocolate called theobromine has many benefits for the body and the brain, according to a study conducted by Zhengzhou University in China published this month in the Journal of Functional Foods.

The researchers found that the chemical, found in cocoa beans, is anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants—and can protect the brain from Alzheimer’s. Scientists also say that theobromine can counter the impact of high cholesterol levels on memory and cognitive function.

Whaat’s more, theobromine can cross the blood-brain barrier to potentially boost brain function as well as mood and fight against depression.

“Theobromine has demonstrated neuroprotective properties, the ability to prevent neuronal damage, and enhancements in motor memory and cognitive regulatory functions,” the study authors wrote. 

“Given its low incidence of side effects and minimal harm to the human body at appropriate doses, theobromine and its derivatives show promise as effective agents for preventing brain-related disorders, presenting significant prospects in the medical field,” they continued.

And , while it may seem counterintuitive, eating chocolate could also help you lose weight because theobromine helps the body break down fats.

“In a study by Dan Wei, et al., the effects of theobromine on an non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)-affected mouse model were examined—revealing that theobromine led to reductions in body weight, liver weight, and improvements in liver morphology,” they explained.

Theobromine protects the kidney and could inhibit the formation of kidney stones.

Eating chocolate could even boost your immune system thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, scientists said.

“Inflammation is a multifaceted process that engages white blood cells and the release of chemicals into the bloodstream or affected tissues to combat foreign invaders,” they explained.

“Theobromine demonstrates anti-inflammatory effects on diverse cell types, including macrophages and chondrocytes.”

Research contact: @nypost