Friday, June 1, 2012

Chocolate: Delicious Sunscreen?

With the sweltering hot summer approaching, many people get ready to protect themselves from the harmful rays of the sun by getting their sunscreen lotions stocked up.  Well would you believe that chocolate can help as well?

From Specialty Food Magazine:

In addition to its taste and antioxidant properties, there may be a new unexpected benefit for chocolate to tout. Scientists at Laval University’s Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods in Quebec are studying whether eating dark chocolate helps protect against sunburn. Currently, they’re recruiting fair-skinned female volunteers to eat three squares of chocolate every day for 12 weeks. (By only including females, they can control the variability between men’s and women’s hormones.) Participants will then be exposed to ultraviolet light in a lab, and their skin will be checked for sun damage. A control group will be given a placebo, allowing the scientists to compare the degree of UV damage. Scientists were spurred on by research including a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in 2010 that showed that chocolate high in the antioxidant flavanol (i.e., those with high percentages of cacao), reached the upper layers of skin and counteracted the free radicals generated from exposure to UV radiation, making it a good secondary form of sunscreen. Green and white tea also contain epicatechin and catechin, the flavanols responsible for added sun protection.

Well all I can say is that before I go to the beach, I'm going to have a nice Baci Chocolate.  Stay Cool!


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