Good news for chocoholics!


The world seems to hell bent in finding yet another health hazard, which if ignored, will cause everything from premature ejaculation through to premature death itself.

Registering high on the doom and disaster scale continues to be the omnipresent mobile phone. Do mobile phones give you brain cancer? Take it from me, they don’t, and while I am at it, the Illuminati are not poisoning the human race with Chemtrails.

When we first developed mobile phones, they were in a suitcase and weighed several kilos. The danger to health there was dropping the thing on your foot, bruising at best, fracture at worst. Yes, from the outset, mobiles have had the ability to affect your health. But brain tumors? No.

I read a lot of scientific papers every week. It seems that all over the world there are groups of scientists devoting their laboratory lives to study the effects of radiation from mobile phones. One group even went so far as to suggest that pregnant women should not place their mobile phones on their abdomens as the radiation can get as far as the developing brain in the fetus as the skull is so much thinner than adults.

Now one of the articles I read admitted that scientists worldwide agreed there is no evidence linking electromagnetic radiation emitted by mobile phones to adverse health effects, but claims still persist that frequent use can cause headaches, nausea, problems with concentration, cancer and brain tumors. And has anyone studied the effects of the ‘unlock’ button on your ignition key?

This form of thinking reminds me of an elderly relative who would put plasters over the electric power points as she was sure the electricity would leak out and discolor the wall paper.

However, as well as the good news that your iPhone isn’t carcinogenic comes a university study (so it must be true) where a new University of South Australia study has revealed that people who eat any type of chocolate at least once a week perform better on a range of multiple cognitive tasks compared with those who eat the sweet treat less often.

It is believed the reason why people observed better memory, concentration and problem-solving skills was because of flavonols – a type of antioxidant – found in cocoa and chocolate, and also found in wine, fruit and vegetables.

The study by researchers from the University of Maine, the Luxembourg Institute of Health and UniSA headed the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study, a study which tracked 1000 people over 30 years and measured a whole range of health indicators.

As part of the research, the scientists determined whether eating chocolate regularly had any association with brain function – with surprising results.

Lead author Dr Georgie Crichton, of the UniSA, said chocolate and cocoa flavonols were associated with cardiovascular benefits but it was less known about the effects of chocolate on neurocognition and behaviour.

“The (study) … found that those who ate chocolate at least once per week (or more), performed better on multiple cognitive tasks, compared to those who ate chocolate less than once per week,” she said.

“Previous research has mostly examined the acute effects of increasing chocolate consumption on cognition immediately after consuming a chocolate bar/cocoa drink.”

Despite the latest good news for chocolate lovers, Dr Crichton said chocolate consumption should always be balanced with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

“Of course chocolate intake should be considered within an overall healthy eating pattern, with consideration given to total energy intake and an individual’s energy needs,” she said.

The good news actually started last year when, a British and Danish study of 21,000 people revealed eating up to 100 gm of chocolate a day – the equivalent of two chocolate bars – reduced the risk of coronary heart disease.

In that study, more people who ate both milk and dark chocolate were linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke than those who ate none at all.

And that, gentle reader, is what it is all about. We don’t know if anything is “safe” in all circumstances, but there is a burgeoning industry out there calling for funds to “prove” that shoes actually don’t kill people as 99 percent of those dying wore shoes. Give generously.