Our Dark Chocolates Do Things No Candy Can Do…

Weight loss, suppresses appetite, relaxation, loss of PMS, increased focus, better sleep rhythms and a more cheerful mood are just some of the many “side effects” we have been noticing consistently with our Dark Healthy Chocolates.

The Simple Chocolate Diet Dark Chocolates

Our simple, flexible and healthy eating plan accompanied by our Healthy Dark Chocolates make sticking to our diet easier and more manageable. The Simple Chocolate Diet consists of two different Dark Chocolates, this gives you the opportunity to still enjoy what we would call unhealthy eating habits but are actually incredibly tasty and good for you.

The Doctor’s Chocolate

…is a rich, all-natural, raspberry dark chocolate truffle. The Doctor’s Chocolates can lower daily stress and tension, increase mental alertness and focus, reduce sugar cravings, has only 20 calories and 3 carbohydrates per serving and are safe for diabetics and children.

Click here to learn more about The Doctor’s Chocolates >>

True Healthy Dark Chocolate

… is a rich, dark chocolate with 71% cocoa. True Healthy Dark Chocolates are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, they helps stabilize blood sugar, they contain no sugar and no artificial sweeteners, they help keep hunger pains away and are safe for diabetics and children.

Click here to learn more about True Healthy Dark Chocolates >>

  • Cocoa - Good for the heart, elevates dopamine
  • Green Tea and Ellagic Acid - Strong antioxidants, provide anti-aging benefits
  • Bioperin® – Helps block toxins, increases the absorption of nutrients
  • Noni – An immune system modulator
  • Momordica - Helps control blood sugar
  • Fabenol® – Reduces sugar absorption in the intestines

Dark Chocolate Is Healthy Chocolate

Dark Chocolate Has Health Benefits Not Seen in Other Varieties

WebMD Aug. 27, 2003 — Got high blood pressure? Try a truffle. Worried about heart disease? Buy a bon-bon.

It’s the best medical news in ages. Studies in two prestigious scientific journals say dark chocolate — but not white chocolate or milk chocolate — is good for you.

Dark Chocolate Lowers Blood Pressure

Dark chocolate — not white chocolate — lowers high blood pressure, say Dirk Taubert, MD, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Cologne, Germany. Their report appears in the Aug. 27 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

But that’s no license to go on a chocolate binge. Eating more dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure — if you’ve reached a certain age and have mild high blood pressure, say the researchers. But you have to balance the extra calories by eating less of other things.

Antioxidants in Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate — but not milk chocolate or dark chocolate eaten with milk — is a potent antioxidant, report Mauro Serafini, PhD, of Italy’s National Institute for Food and Nutrition Research in Rome, and colleagues. Their report appears in the Aug. 28 issue of Nature. Antioxidants gobble up free radicals, destructive molecules that are implicated in heart disease and other ailments.

“Our findings indicate that milk may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate … and may therefore negate the potential health benefits that can be derived from eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate.”

Translation: Say “Dark, please,” when ordering at the chocolate counter. Don’t even think of washing it down with milk. And if health is your excuse for eating chocolate, remember the word “moderate” as you nibble.

The Studies

Taubert’s team signed up six men and seven women aged 55-64. All had just been diagnosed with mild high blood pressure — on average, systolic blood pressure (the top number) of 153 and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) of 84.

Every day for two weeks, they ate a 100-gram candy bar and were asked to balance its 480 calories by not eating other foods similar in nutrients and calories. Half the patients got dark chocolate and half got white chocolate.

Those who ate dark chocolate had a significant drop in blood pressure (by an average of 5 points for systolic and an average of 2 points for diastolic blood pressure). Those who ate white chocolate did not.

In the second study, Serafini’s team signed up seven healthy women and five healthy men aged 25-35. On different days they each ate 100 grams of dark chocolate by itself, 100 grams of dark chocolate with a small glass of whole milk, or 200 grams of milk chocolate.

An hour later, those who ate dark chocolate alone had the most total antioxidants in their blood. And they had higher levels of epicatechin, a particularly healthy compound found in chocolate. The milk chocolate eaters had the lowest epicatechin levels of all.

What is it about dark chocolate? The answer is plant phenols — cocoa phenols, to be exact. These compounds are known to lower blood pressure.

Chocolates made in Europe are generally richer in cocoa phenols than those made in the U.S. So if you’re going to try this at home, remember: Darker is better.

Just remember to balance the calories. A 100-gram serving of Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Bar has 531 calories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If you ate that much raw apple you’d only take in 52 calories. But then, you’d miss out on the delicious blood pressure benefit.

A hint: Don’t replace healthy foods with chocolate. Most people’s diets have plenty of sweets. Switch those for some chocolate if you’re going to try the truffle treatment.

[August 27, 2003 online article of the WebMD Healthy News].


Is Chocolate A Vitamin?

Prof. Norman Hollenberg MD of Harvard University Medical School is on record as stating epicatechin (in chocolate) should be classified as a vitamin, it is so important to our heath. In fact, he also said the health benefits of epicatechin found in cocoa are so striking, that it may rival penicillin and anaesthesia in terms of importance to public health.

His words were quoted from an interview with Marina Murphy, published in the magazine of the Society of Chemistry and Industry (March 2007).

Hollenberg spent years studying the benefits of cocoa drinking on the Kuna Indians, who live on the San Blas islands off the coast of Panama. He found that the risk of 4 of the 5 most common killer diseases: stroke, heart failure, cancer and diabetes, is reduced to less than 10% in the Kuna (90% reduction!) They can drink up to 40 cups of cocoa a week. Natural cocoa has high levels of epicatechin.

‘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 says. ‘We all agree that penicillin and anaesthesia are enormously important. But epicatechin could potentially get rid of 4 of the 5 most common diseases in the western world, how important does that make epicatechin?… I would say very important’

Epicatechin is also found in teas, wine, chocolate and some fruit and vegetables.

Epicatechins Proof

Proof of the epicatechin connection furthers this story, from a study at UC Davis.

“Although previous studies strongly indicated that some flavanol-rich foods, such as wine, tea and cocoa can offer cardiovascular health benefits, we have been able to demonstrate a direct relationship between the intake of certain flavanols present in cocoa, their absorption into the circulation and their effects on cardiovascular function in humans,” said biochemist Hagen Schroeter of the University of California, Davis.

The study relied on volunteers from the Kuna Indians,. High blood pressure and other signs of cardiovascular disease are rare among the Kuna. And they are known to consume large amounts of flavanol-rich cocoa—three to four cups a day.

Previous studies found that Kuna who migrated to the suburbs of Panama City on the mainland drink only about four cups of cocoa per week and do not enjoy the same level of cardiovascular health.

The islanders have twice the level of urinary nitric oxide, a chemical associated with healthy flow of blood through the arteries. And those who drank cocoa with more flavanols had higher levels of nitric oxide (nitric oxide lowers blood pressure and is also how Viagra works).

Higher levels of epicatechin in the bloodstream were accompanied by improved blood flow. Lab tests showed that flavanols allow vascular tissue to relax.

Finally, tests showed that pure epicatechin consumed by people had much the same effect as flavanol-rich cocoa. So epicatechin is the main healthy agent in chocolate.

“The results of this study provide direct proof that epicatechin is, at least in part, responsible for the beneficial vascular effects that are observed after the consumption of certain flavanol-rich cocoas,” Schroeter said.

[Jan. 16 2006 online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences].


References:

These are the recognized health benefits of natural (non-alkalized or non-Dutched) chocolates, together with examples of scientific references (not comprehensive, there is a huge number of studies published). Almost all the studies quoted can be found on PubMed, the official US medical reference database:

Powerful anti-oxidant health properties

In the American diet, fruits, vegetables, tea, wine and chocolate are major sources of antioxidants, which have been shown to have protective effects against CVD

Fraga CG, Actis-Goretta L, Ottaviani JI, Carrasquedo F, Lotito SB, Lazarus S, Schmitz HH, Keen CL: Regular consumption of a flavanol-rich chocolate can improve oxidant stress in young soccer players. Clin Dev Immunol 2005, 12(1):11-17.

Kris-Etherton PM, Keen CL: Evidence that the antioxidant flavonoids in tea and cocoa are beneficial for cardiovascular health. Curr Opin Lipidol 2002, 13(1):41-49.

Steinberg FM, Bearden MM, Keen CL: Cocoa and chocolate flavonoids: implications for cardiovascular health. J Am Diet Assoc 2003, 103(2):215-223.

Protecting the arteries

Chocolate flavonoids have shown good dose-response bioavailability in humans. There exists several mechanisms of how flavonoids may be protective against cardio-vascular disease. These include: antioxidant, anti-platelet, anti-inflammatory effects, as well as possibly increasing HDL, lowering blood pressure, and improving endothelial function.

Richelle M, Tavazzi I, Enslen M, Offord EA: Plasma kinetics in man of epicatechin from black chocolate. Eur J Clin Nutr 1999, 53(1):22-26.

Wang JF, Schramm DD, Holt RR, Ensunsa JL, Fraga CG, Schmitz HH, Keen CL: A dose-response effect from chocolate consumption on plasma epicatechin and oxidative damage. J Nutr 2000, 130(8S Suppl):2115S-9S. [PubMed Abstract]

Heiss, C. . . . H. Schroeter, et al. 2005. Acute consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa and the reversal of endothelial dysfunction in smokers. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 46(Oct. 4):1276-1283.

Schroeter, H. . . . C. Heiss . . . C.L. Keen, N.K. Hollenberg, . . . H.H. Schmitz, et al. 2006. (–)-Epicatechin mediates beneficial effects of flavanol-rich cocoa on vascular function in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103(Jan. 24):1024-1029.

Lowers the incidence of heart attack

Chocolate has been shown to be protective against heart attacks.

Nutrition & Metabolism 2006, 3:2 doi:10.1186/1743-7075-3-2

Kris-Etherton PM, Keen CL: Evidence that the antioxidant flavonoids in tea and cocoa are beneficial for cardiovascular health. Curr Opin Lipidol 2002, 13(1):41-49

Steinberg FM, Bearden MM, Keen CL: Cocoa and chocolate flavonoids: implications for cardiovascular health. J Am Diet Assoc 2003, 103(2):215-223.

Chocolate lowers the incidence of death by coronary heart disease

The most extensively consistent finding is the association between chocolate flavonoid intake and CHD mortality.

Hertog MG, Kromhout D, Aravanis C, Blackburn H, Buzina R, Fidanza F, Giampaoli S, Jansen A, Menotti A, Nedeljkovic S, et : Flavonoid intake and long-term risk of coronary heart disease and cancer in the seven countries study. Arch Intern Med 1995, 155(4):381-386.

Geleijnse JM, Launer LJ, Van der Kuip DA, Hofman A, Witteman JC: Inverse association of tea and flavonoid intakes with incident myocardial infarction: the Rotterdam Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2002, 75(5):880-886. [PubMed Abstract]

Rimm EB, Katan MB, Ascherio A, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC: Relation between Intake of Flavonoids and Risk for Coronary Heart Disease in Male Health Professionals. Ann Intern Med 1996, 125(5):384-389. [PubMed Abstract]

Sesso HD, Gaziano JM, Liu S, Buring JE: Flavonoid intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease in women. Am J Clin Nutr 2003, 77(6):1400-1408. [PubMed Abstract]

Hertog MG, Feskens EJ, Hollman PC, Katan MB, Kromhout D: Dietary antioxidant flavonoids and risk of coronary heart disease: the Zutphen Elderly Study. Lancet 1993, 342(8878):1007-1011.

Hirvonen T, Pietinen P, Virtanen M, Ovaskainen ML, Hakkinen S, Albanes D, Virtamo J: Intake of flavonols and flavones and risk of coronary heart disease in male smokers. Epidemiology 2001, 12(1):62-67. [PubMed Abstract] [Publisher Full Text]

Keli SO, Hertog MG, Feskens EJ, Kromhout D: Dietary flavonoids, antioxidant vitamins, and incidence of stroke: the Zutphen study. Arch Intern Med 1996, 156(6):637-642.

Arts IC, Jacobs DRJ, Harnack LJ, Gross M, Folsom AR: Dietary catechins in relation to coronary heart disease death among postmenopausal women. Epidemiology 2001, 12(6):668-675. text: [1] [2]

Yochum L, Kushi LH, Meyer K, Folsom AR: Dietary flavonoid intake and risk of cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women. Am J Epidemiol 1999, 149(10):943-949.

Knekt P, Jarvinen R, Reunanen A, Maatela J: Flavonoid intake and coronary mortality in Finland: a cohort study. BMJ 1996, 312(7029):478-481.

Knekt P, Kumpulainen J, Jarvinen R, Rissanen H, Heliovaara M, Reunanen A, Hakulinen T, Aromaa A: Flavonoid intake and risk of chronic diseases. Am J Clin Nutr 2002, 76(3):560-568.

Lowers blood pressure and increases insulin sensitivity (important against diabetes)

Short-term administration of dark chocolate is followed by a significant increase in insulin sensitivity and a decrease in blood pressure in healthy persons — Grassi et al. 81 (3): 611 — American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 81, No. 3, 611-614, March 2005

Grassi D, Necozione S, Lippi C, Croce G, Valeri L, Pasqualetti P, Desideri G, Blumberg JB, Ferri C: Cocoa Reduces Blood Pressure and Insulin Resistance and Improves Endothelium-Dependent Vasodilation in Hypertensives. Hypertension 2005, 01.HYP.0000174990.46027.70.

Taubert D, Berkels R, Roesen R, Klaus W: Chocolate and blood pressure in elderly individuals with isolated systolic hypertension. JAMA 2003, 290(8):1029-1030.

Reduces Inflammatory Disease Mediators

In addition to anti-inflammatory effects on the lipoxygenase pathway, cocoa polyphenols have been shown to decrease inflammation via several mechanisms, namely: inhibition of mitogen induced activation of T cells, polyclonal activation of B cells, reduced expression of interleukin-2 (IL-2) messenger RNA, and reduced secretion of IL-2 by T cells – all these are inflammatopry markers. Other studies have also found chocolate procyanidins can modulate of a variety of other cytokines (e.g. IL-5, TNF-α, TGF-β), reducing their inflammatory effects [110-114].

Helmut Sies, Tankred Schewe, Christian Heiss and Malte Kelm. Cocoa polyphenols and inflammatory mediators, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 81, No. 1, 304S-312S, January 2005

Sanbongi C, Suzuki N, Sakane T: Polyphenols in chocolate, which have antioxidant activity, modulate immune functions in humans in vitro. Cell Immunol 1997, 177(2):129-136.

Mao TK, Powell J, Van de Water J, Keen CL, Schmitz HH, Hammerstone JF, Gershwin ME: The effect of cocoa procyanidins on the transcription and secretion of interleukin 1 beta in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Life Sci 2000, 66(15):1377-1386.

Mao T, Van De Water J, Keen CL, Schmitz HH, Gershwin ME: Cocoa procyanidins and human cytokine transcription and secretion. J Nutr 2000, 130(8S Suppl):2093S-9S.

Mao TK, Van de Water J, Keen CL, Schmitz HH, Gershwin ME: Effect of cocoa flavanols and their related oligomers on the secretion of interleukin-5 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. J Med Food 2002, 5(1):17-22.

Mao TK, van de Water J, Keen CL, Schmitz HH, Gershwin ME: Modulation of TNF-alpha secretion in peripheral blood mononuclear cells by cocoa flavanols and procyanidins. Dev Immunol 2002, 9(3):135-141.

Mao TK, Van De Water J, Keen CL, Schmitz HH, Gershwin ME: Cocoa flavonols and procyanidins promote transforming growth factor-beta1 homeostasis in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Exp Biol Med (Maywood) 2003, 228(1):93-99.

Improves Blood Fats Profile

Multiple cocoa feeding trials have also found chocolate to increase HDL (good) cholesterol and lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Mursu J, Voutilainen S, Nurmi T, Rissanen TH, Virtanen JK, Kaikkonen J, Nyyssonen K, Salonen JT: Dark Chocolate Consumption Increases HDL Cholesterol Concentration and Chocolate Fatty Acids May Inhibit Lipid Peroxidation in Healthy Humans. Free Radic Biol Med 2004, 37(9):1351-1359.

Mathur S, Devaraj S, Grundy SM, Jialal I: Cocoa products decrease low density lipoprotein oxidative susceptibility but do not affect biomarkers of inflammation in humans. J Nutr 2002, 132(12):3663-3667.

Wan Y, Vinson JA, Etherton TD, Proch J, Lazarus SA, Kris-Etherton PM: Effects of cocoa powder and dark chocolate on LDL oxidative susceptibility and prostaglandin concentrations in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 2001, 74(5):596-602.

Increases Cerebral Blood Flow

Professor of metabolic physiology at Nottingham University, Ian Macdonald, used MRI technology (magnetic resonance imaging) to monitor greater activity in particular areas of the brain in people who had ingested a cocoa drink, rich in flavonols.

Reported at the 2006 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Improves skin elasticity and reduces wrinkles

Subjects had a doubling of blood flow in the skin in tissue 1 millimeter below the surface, and a 37.5 percent increase in tissue 7 to 8 mm deep.

Reduces Stress

Hurst WJ, Martin RA, Zoumas, BL. Biogenic amines in chocolate: a review. Nutr Rep Intl. 1982;26:1081-6.

(Ada) Zurer, P. 1996. Chocolate may mimic marijuana in brain. Chemical and Engineering News 74(Sept. 2):31 also: Brain Cannabinoids in Chocolate, Nature, August 22, 1996, pp. 677-678 by diTomaso, E., Beltramo, M., and Piomelli, D.

Better Overall Health

In this socioeconomically homogenous male study cohort, chocolate preference in old age was associated with better health, optimism and better psychological well-being.

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 28 February 2007; doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602707. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Feb 28

People Live Longer Eating Chocolate

Lee IM, Paffenbarger RSJ: Life is sweet: candy consumption and longevity. BMJ 1998, 317(7174):1683-1684.

L-Theanine Science

L-theanine is a unique free form amino acid found only in the tea plant and in the mushrooms Xerocomus badius and certain species of genus Camellia, C. japonica and C. sasanqua.

PMS

In a study of the role of theanine in mitigating the effects of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), 20 women were administered Suntheanine 100 mg twice a day (200 mg) or placebo, through three menstruation cycles. Theanine significantly reduced scores on both physical and mental symptoms of PMS.

Ueda T, M Ozeki, T Okubo, D Chu, LR Juneja, H Yokogoshi, S Matsumoto. 2001. Improving effect of L-theanine on premenstrual syndrome. J JSPOG 6:234-239. [English Abstract]

Brain Chemical

L-theanine appears to have a role in the formation of the inhibitory neurotransmitter Gamma Amino Butyric Acid (GABA). GABA blocks release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, playing a key role in the relaxation effect.

GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, is a messenger chemical that is essential for optimizing how brain cells transmit messages to each other and acts to put a damper on unwanted brain signaling activity, explained the study’s lead author Dr. Audie G. Leventhal at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City.

Science 2003;300:812-815.

Stress Buster

Kimura K, Ozeki M, Juneja L, Ohira H (2007). “L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses”. Biol Psychol 74 (1): 39–45. doi:10.1016/j.biopsycho. 2006.06.006. PMID 16930802.

Haskell CF, Kennedy DO, Milne AL, Wesnes KA, Scholey AB (2008). “The effects of l-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood”. Biol Psychol 77 (2): 113–22.

Creates Relaxing Alpha Brainwaves

Alpha waves are associated with a relaxes, dreamy (but not trance-like) state, helpful for sports performance. Relaxation is also a way of beating fatigue (less beta waves, less stress and anxiety).

Kobayashi K, Y Nagao, N Aoi, LR Juneja, M Kim, T Yamamoto, S Sugimoto. 1998. Effects of L-theanine on the release of alpha-waves in human volunteers. Nippon Nogeikagaku Kaishi 72: 153-1 57.

Juneja LR, Chu D-C, Okubo T, Nagato Y, Yokogoshi H. L-theanine-a unique amino acid of green tea and its relaxation effect in humans. Trends Food Sci Technol . 1999;10:199-204.

Beats Fatigue

Song et al. (2002) performed a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind crossover study with 20 subjects age 30-55 years suffering from persistent fatigue. The subjects were classified as high or low in anxiety. Each subject’s frontal and occipital EEG was measured over 1 hour immediately after the administration of a placebo or 200 mg L-theanine every day for 7 days. The subjects were also evaluated on the Fatigue Severity Scale. Both endpoints showed significant relaxant effects of theanine; the fatigue score was significantly decreased in the test group but not in the placebo group.

Song CH, KI Chung, SW Song, KS Kim. 2002. The effects of L-theanine containing functional beverage on mental relaxation and fatigue perception. J Korean Acad Fam Med 23:645.

Diminishes Anxiety

Kobayashi et al. (1998) divided 50 females age 18-22 into a high-anxiety group and a low-anxiety group based on scores on the Manifest Anxiety Scale. Subjects were given either 50 mg or 200 mg theanine in water once a week. Each subject’s electroencephalogram (EEG) was taken for 60 minutes after each administration. Effects were observed beginning about 30-40 minutes after intake, taking the form of increased production of alpha waves (reported to be characteristic of relaxation), but not theta waves (reported to be indicators of drowsiness).

Kobayashi K, Y Nagao, N Aoi, LR Juneja, M Kim, T Yamamoto, S Sugimoto. 1998. Effects of L-theanine on the release of alpha-waves in human volunteers. Nippon Nogeikagaku Kaishi 72: 153-1 57.

GRAS Status

L-theanine is considered to be safe based on its historical use as a component of tea and on favorable toxicology studies. Tea is the most consumed beverage worldwide after water, and has been consumed for thousands of years by billions of people. It is estimated that a heavy tea drinker (6-8 cups daily) will consume between 200 to 400 mg of L-theanine daily.

A ‘letter of no objection’ from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the self-affirmed GRAS status of its L-theanine brand Suntheanine.