Watch “Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate and how chocolate is like alcohol – latest research…” on RexAdventureTube.


.
.
Read about Chocolate Craving – Scientific Evidence Found, and how chocolate is like alcohol on RexAdventure.

.
image

.
http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/basics/l/aa001109a.htm
.
======================
Chocolate and Craving
======================
There May Be a Relation with AlcoholFor years people have claimed to be addicted to chocolate and now there is new scientific evidence that reveals some addictive qualities in the tasty treat. The same alkaloid compounds found in alcohol are also present in chocolate, researchers say.

This could also explain why many recovering alcoholics use chocolate to curb their craving for alcohol, especially in early sobriety. The bookAlcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book) recommends using chocolate to satisfy cravings.
image

Researchers at the Spanish Council for Scientific Research in Madrid, Spain are the first to find that ordinary cocoa and chocolate bars contain a group of alkaloids known as tetrahydro-beta-carbolines, according to Tomas Herraiz, in a press release.

In previous research, the same chemicals were linked to alcoholism, he said. The family of compounds, which are also known as neuroactive alkaloids, continues to be investigated for possible influences on mood and behavior.

Like Marijuana?In an earlier study, Italian scientists identified a pleasure-inducing compound called anandamide, as well as other substances believed to mimic the effects of marijuana. Although the Italian study concluded that stomach acids break down these substances before they enter the bloodstream, researchers at the University of California at Irvine disputed that finding.

Another review published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association confirmed that chocolate can be addicting. “Chocolate may be used as a form of self-medication for dietary deficiencies,” according to former About Nutrition Guide Rick Hall.

In the Spanish study, Herraiz said the same chemicals discovered in chocolate are found in wine, beer and liquor, though no connection has been established between compulsive drinking and food addiction. The combination of the alkaloid compounds and other chemicals in chocolate could explain chocolate cravings, he said.
image

.
.
image

“Finding these active substances, combined with the known pleasurable effects of eating chocolate, may complete the whole picture of chocolate craving,” Herraiz said.

“Other active substances in chocolate, like caffeine and magnesium, are often suggested as potential contributors to craving,” Herraiz said. “Now we can enlarge this list to include these compounds.”

Higher levels of the compounds seem to correlate with the amount of cocoa in a sample, he reported. The darker the chocolate, the more of the compounds it contains, the news release said.

Women More AffectedWomen seem to be more prone to chocolate cravings than men. The Diabetes Association report found that only 15 percent of males appear to crave chocolate, as much as 40 percent of women do – and 75 percent of them claim that absolutely nothing other than chocolate can satisfy their appetite.

Because chocolate cravings may be influenced by a deficiency in magnesium, that this may be why some experience an increase in chocolate cravings during PMS.

For most people craving chocolate is in no way harmful, but if it rises to the level of “binge eating” it can be a real problem. Chocolate is the food most desired by women who binge eat, because of a brain chemical that gives them physical pleasure from the sweet indulgence, says University of Michigan nutritionist Adam Drewnowski.

Drewnowski’s research found that Naloxone can reduce craving in binge eaters, but Naloxone is available only intravenously, which makes it impractical for chronic bingers. Drewnowski is searching for an easier-to-take drug.

Herraiz’s finding was reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a monthly peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society
image

.
.
.
image

That’s what I need, a running chocolate fountain in my house. Yeah. Sign me up, y’all.
.
.
Chocolate And Alcoholism – Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)
.
http://scienceblogs.com/grrlscientist/2007/09/12/chocolate-and-addiction/
.
======================
Chocolate And Alcoholism
======================
Weirdly, I just learned that recovering alcoholics, especially those who are early in the recovery process, are recommended to eat chocolate to curb their craving for alcohol. According to my sources, this recommendation is included in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, which is also known as “The Big Book” to those who are in recovery. Why is this?

Some people hypothesize that chocolate is helpful because it contains a variety of alkaloids that are linked to alcoholism, so by eating chocolate, the alcoholic can get these same substances without ingesting alcohol. Further, it is hypothesized that these same biochemicals cause “chocolate addiction”. But in investigating this claim regarding “chocolate addiction” further, it came to my attention that this phenomenon is nothing more than wishful thinking. In fact, a researcher is planning to present this very argument at an upcoming meeting in England.
image

Of course, this scientist is making an argument based on other people’s research, but his argument is based upon the fact that, even though chocolate contains pharmacologically significant amounts of theobromine, phenylethylamine, tryptophan and anandamide, there are plenty of other foods out there that contain these same substances, and in greater quantities than does chocolate, yet these other foods are not nearly as er, “addictive” as chocolate.

But to understand this argument more fully, it is first important to understand what these biochemicals do when they are in your body. Theobromine is structurally related to caffeine, but is a much less powerful stimulant than what you get in a cup of coffee. Additionally, due to dilution, theobromine concentrations are very very low in milk chocolate and thus, are not physiologically significant.

Phenylethylamine is another stimulant found in chocolate. Its molecular structure is similar to amphetamine, and it also induces an elevated mood. However, it is not known how much (if any) of this substance actually reaches the brain after passing through the powerful acid-bath in the stomach.
image

Another biochemical, tryptophan, is actually an essential amino acid, which is involved in the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that causes people to feel calm and satisfied. However, there are plenty of other food sources that also provide tryptophan in pharmacologically significant concentrations, but they aren’t foods that people typically associate with “addition”.

Anandamide acts similarly to marijuana to produce an emotional “high” by binding to the THC receptor in the brain. However, like phenylethylamine, stomach acids probably destroy it before it manages to reach one’s brain THC receptors to trigger any happiness.

So based on this information, Peter Rogers of the University of Bristol in England will argue at the annual BA Festival of Science, held at the University of York, that because these other foods are not addictive, chocolate likewise is not addictive. (However, let me point out that Rogers is not the first person to makethis argument).

“A more compelling explanation lies in our ambivalent attitudes towards chocolate,” Rogers said. “It is highly desired but should be eaten with restraint (nice but naughty). Our unfulfilled desire to eat chocolate, resulting from restraint, is thus experienced as craving, which in turn is attributed to ‘addiction.’”

Chocolate is made by crushing seeds from the tree, Theobroma cacao. Perhaps as a celebration of chocolate’s wonderful qualities, “theobroma” is the Greek word for ‘food of the gods’. The Aztecs originally prepared a bitter but refreshing drink known as chocolatlfrom a combination of crushed cacao beans mixed with spices. Then the Europeans got hold of cacao and began to add other things to it, such as sugar and milk. Currently, milk chocolate is the world’s best selling variety of chocolate, for reasons that escape me: some people, like me, prefer our chocolate to be dark.

But in his presenation, Rogers will instead argue that chocolate’s appeal is due to the sugar and fat it contains. Unfortunately, one argument that Rogers apparently will not address is how chocolate and the substances it contains are capable of relieving one’s craving for alcohol.

Sources:
Chocolate and Craving
Measuring Brain Activity In People Eating Chocolate Offers New Clues About How The Body Becomes Addicted.
ABCNews.
FoxNews (quotes)
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
image

.

Advertisements