The Tech Herald

UK scientists offer women a year's supply of chocolate

by Stevie Smith - Jul 24 2009, 19:00

For strictly medical reasons you understand. Image: gotplaid?/Flickr.

While it would perhaps be an unfair stereotype to suggest that every woman on the planet is a sucker for chocolate, a team of British scientists is inviting 40 members of the fairer sex to indulge themselves for an entire year – for strictly medical reasons.

More pointedly, a team of researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and a hospital in Norwich require the assistance of 40 (lucky?) women in order to assess the worth of dark chocolate in contributing to the reduction of heart disease.

According to the scientists, all of the female participants will be subjected to a battery of tests gauging their health over the course of a year, with most of them consuming two bars a day of a “super-strength” variety of chocolate produced specifically for the experiment by elite Belgian chocolatiers. The other research subjects will eat ‘normal’ chocolate by way of a placebo.

Citing the potential benefits connected with the flavonoid plant compounds found in dark chocolate, study co-ordinator Dr. Peter Curtis of the UEA School of Medicine said that a successful outcome “could be the first step in developing new ways to improve the lives of people at risk of heart disease.”

In order to qualify for inclusion, applicants should be non-smokers below the age of 76, post-menopausal, and have been diagnosed with type-two diabetes.

Tests and assessments the study subjects will be exposed to include filling in questionnaires, giving regular blood and urine samples, having their arteries checked via ultrasound, and undergoing five spaced checks regarding the risk of heart disease.

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