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Old 03-19-2007, 11:27 AM   #1
Larry_OHF
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Quoted from Nutrition Week Update 03.19.07, an e-mail that the Health Department receives internally and that my wife forwarded to me.


HARVARD STUDY TOUTS COCOA COMPOUND
A new Harvard Medical School study suggests that the health benefits of epicatechin, a compound found in cocoa, are so striking that it may rival penicillin and anesthesia in terms of importance to public health.

The article appears in the current Chemical & Industry, according to a March 11 release. Norman Hollenberg, professor of medicine at Harvard, said epicatechin is so important that it should be considered a vitamin. Hollenberg has spent years studying the benefits of cocoa drinking on the Kuna people in Panama, the release said. He found that the risk of four of the five most common killer diseases—stroke, heart failure, cancer, and diabetes—is reduced to less than 10% in the Kuna. They each drink up to 40 cups of cocoa per week.

“If these observations predict the future, then we can say without blushing that they are among the most important observations in the history of medicine,” Hollenberg said in the release. “We all agree that penicillin and anesthesia are enormously important. But [if] epicatechin could potentially get rid of four of the five most common diseases in the western world, how important does that make epicatechin?”

[ 03-19-2007, 10:58 PM: Message edited by: Larry_OHF ]
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Old 03-19-2007, 12:26 PM   #2
PurpleXVI
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Didn't people already know this? This is like those scientists a bit back who thought they'd discovered something new with regards to combustible engines, but what they discovered had been used by the automobile industry for years.

I remember I was fifteen or something back when I first heard that dark chocolate was good for you.

However, I also note there's much less detail on these "Kuna" than I would have liked. Do they eat as much fast food as first-world people? Drink as much soda? Eat as many microwaveable meals? If we're talking some sort of indigenous people, I think that's far more likely.
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Old 03-19-2007, 01:58 PM   #3
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Bah, it's also a proven fact that too much chocolate makes you a chunkybutt. [img]tongue.gif[/img]
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Old 03-19-2007, 02:00 PM   #4
Larry_OHF
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Quote:
I remember I was fifteen or something back when I first heard that dark chocolate was good for you.
You're probably referring to the antioxidants found in dark chocolate.

Epicatechin in chocolate has never been discussed in any research journals that I have come across until now. Epicatechin is known to exist in certain herbs and in green tea, but I was unaware of its presence in the cocoa bean (most likely the creole version).
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Old 03-19-2007, 02:05 PM   #5
Larry_OHF
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Originally posted by johnny:
Bah, it's also a proven fact that too much chocolate makes you a chunkybutt. [img]tongue.gif[/img]
That's the processed, cheap milk chocolate that comes from the African forestero cocoa bean and used by Hershey and Nestle who add so much junk to the cocoa that it hardly resembles real chocolate at all. The real stuff back in the day was (and still is in some places) an important food that has not been ruined by Western taste.
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Old 03-19-2007, 02:20 PM   #6
PurpleXVI
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Please do not include us all in "Western taste," in Denmark our chocolate is still good ol'-fashioned dark chocolate, for the most part.

And I may have heard only about the antioxidants, but it doesn't change that much. Antioxidants are, last I heard, also important for cancer-prevention.

Plus, my other points still stand. I remain immensely doubtful of the power of this vitamin, it may be there, it may even be good for us, but I doubt it's as much of a panacea as this researcher claims.
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Old 03-19-2007, 02:30 PM   #7
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If people don't die as a result of stroke, heart failure, cancer, diabetes or traffic accidents, what -does- kill them? Chocolate poisoning at age 25?

If it turns out to work, then great. But since I'm pretty sceptical when it comes to wonder drugs which cure everything, I'll wait/look for more detailled information as it becomes available before celebrating.

Naturally, I'll still continue to contribue to the research and mean public health by eating all the dark chocolate I can get my hands on. And the lighter chocolates. And things which are supposed to pass for chocolate but really don't.
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Old 03-19-2007, 02:40 PM   #8
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Like white chocolate? Which is basically just butter.
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Old 03-19-2007, 03:14 PM   #9
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Yes, like white chocolate [img]smile.gif[/img]
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Old 03-19-2007, 04:12 PM   #10
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Thing is with all these studies going on it's hard to know what is and isn't good. Basically, if you took these frequent articles as your own personal health regime, you'd either be very sick, or dead.

As an example, this is a summary of what I have gathered from the media in the last few months looking at top stories on yahoo news. You can see how contradictory the stories are, sometimes certain stories are followed by something that says the complete opposite, only a month later. If i took all their studies as bible i'd be in trouble (according to their later studies).

Milk is good for you.
Milk isn't good for you.
Milk is good for you.
Ham may cause cancer.
Beef may cause cancer.
Milk may cause cancer.
Echinachea doesn't help immune function at all.
Vitamin B doesn't work.
Wait, Vitamin B does work.
Vitamin C doesn't work.
Bah sorry, Vitamin C works again.
Fish may cure Alzheimers.
Too many nuts are bad for you.
Kids who eat alot of cereal have more energy.
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