Dark secret: Chocolate is as good as exercise
Cancel your Gold’s Gym account and head to the Godiva chocolate store!
LONDON: It is the news that chocoholics have been waiting for: Chocolate is as good as exercise, a new study has claimed. Scientists at Wayne State University in the US found that small amounts of dark chocolate may improve health in a similar way to exercise.
The researchers who focused on the mitochondria - the tiny powerhouses in cells that generate energy - discovered that a plant compound found in chocolate, called epicatechin, appeared to stimulate the same muscle response as vigorous activity, the Daily Telegraph reported.
“Mitochondria produce energy which is used by the cells in the body. More mitochondria mean more energy,” said Dr Moh Malek, who led the research on mice. “Aerobic exercise is known to increase the number of mitochondria in muscle cells,” Malek said.
“Our study has found that epicatechin seems to bring about the same response.”
For their study the researchers gave a specific type of epicatechin from cocoa to the laboratory mice twice a day for 15 days. At the same time, the animals underwent 30 minutes of treadmill training each day. It was found that mice only fed epicatechin had the same exercise performance as those running on the treadmill.