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What are the Effects of Chocolate?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 29 August 2016
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Chocolate is a product made from cocoa. Studies have shown that cocoa contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants believed to have numerous health benefits. These discoveries have led to debates regarding the effects of chocolate. Some people argue that eating chocolate has negative effects, such as acne and headaches. Others argue that eating it provides positive effects, such as reduced stress and the reduced risk of certain diseases.

According to some research, the eating chocolate can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. When chocolate is suggested for these purposes, people are generally advised to eat dark chocolate, which generally has a high cocoa content.

Many of the effects of chocolate are based on information related to the health benefits of cocoa. Since chocolate is rarely pure cocoa, critics dispute that it offers the healthy effects made in most claims. If a person plans to eat chocolate for any of the positive benefits that research suggests, she should remember that the higher the cocoa content, the more benefits she should experience.

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At one time, it was commonly believed that one of the visible effects of eating chocolate was acne. This claim is widely disputed, however, and critics of chocolate now commonly admit that it is not the primary cause of acne. They do argue that those who suffer from acne are likely to experience negative effects because the ingredients in chocolate can aggravate the condition. The same is believed to be the case regarding the connection between chocolate and headaches.

Research has shown that chocolate can stimulate the release of neurotransmitters such as endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that carry signals that regulate bodily functions. Endorphins, for example, help to regulate a person’s mood. When a person eats chocolate, some believe that the increased production of endorphins can increase happiness, reduce stress, and decrease feelings of pain.

Most chocolate products contain significant amounts of fat and sugar, which can negatively affect a person’s attempts to maintain a healthy diet. The less pure chocolate is, the more likely it is to contain unhealthy fats. Even darker, purer chocolate usually contains sugar and contains many calories.

Although the effects of chocolate on humans are a matter of dispute, there is less debate over its effect on pets. It is widely believed that chocolate can be dangerous to animals such as parrots and dogs. The danger is believed to be caused by a stimulant called theobromine. This means that, whether humans eat chocolate for the potentially positive effects or for pleasure, they should not share with animals.

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yournamehere
Post 3

I really like this article a lot -- I found it very informative. It's really hard these days to find an article on the effects of anything, from steroid and cannabis effects to the effects of sunlight without finding an opinion page.

But you guys really found a good balance in this article by providing a helpful, objective article that wasn't dry as dust.

Really nicely done, guys!

googlefanz
Post 2

Can you tell me some more about the effects of chocolate on dogs? I have a two year old bichon frise name Katie, and last night she got into a bag of M&Ms that I had left out, and she ate the entire thing!

She threw it up later (on the bed, but that's a different story), and she hasn't shown any other side effects, but I'm just really worried that there's something wrong with her or that she somehow did permanent damage to herself.

Could you please give me more information on how eating that much chocolate (and then throwing it up) would affect a dog of that size? I know I may be "mother-hen"-ing it, but I just really worry about her.

Thanks!

pleats
Post 1

I'll tell you what the effects of chocolate are on me -- addiction! I am such a chocolate addict that it's really quite scary. I think that the way chocolate effects me is more like the different heroin effects felt by heroin addicts.

The best way to describe it really is a rush. Biting into that piece of chocolate and smelling it and tasting it, ooh. There's just nothing better than that.

Of course, I'm pretty picky when it comes to chocolate, which means I can't ever really buy a whole lot at one time. I really prefer truffles, but only really good ones. I actually get them from an artisan chocolatier down the street -- they know me by name!

So forget about people talking about drinking side effects or the addictiveness as an effect of caffiene -- chocolate is my drug of choice!

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