Stories on the health benefits of consuming cocoa products have increasingly made the news following the discovery that they are an excellent source of catechins, which are polyphenols of the flavanol group, and which are believed to protect against heart disease, cancer, and various other medical conditions.
Chocolate manufacturers and retailers have been taking advantage of these findings by not only trying to make chocolate lovers feel less guilty about their addiction, but also by trying to target the more health-conscious consumer with regular doses of "research studies" praising the supposed benefits of consuming chocolate, among them that:
• eating chocolate releases endorphins in the brain, which act as pain-relievers,
• eating chocolate boosts one's appetite, but does not cause weight gain,
• the sugar in chocolate may reduce stress and have a calming and pain relieving effect,
• eating chocolate does not give someone acne or other skin eruptions,
• eating chocolate does not trigger migraine headaches,
• eating moderate amounts of chocolate makes one live almost a year longer,
• eating chocolate reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer.