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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2009 Sep;8(3):169-73.
doi: 10.1111/j.1473-2165.2009.00448.x.

Eating Chocolate Can Significantly Protect the Skin From UV Light

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Randomized Controlled Trial

Eating Chocolate Can Significantly Protect the Skin From UV Light

Stefanie Williams et al. J Cosmet Dermatol. .

Abstract

Background: Cocoa beans fresh from the tree are exceptionally rich in flavanols. Unfortunately, during conventional chocolate making, this high antioxidant capacity is greatly reduced due to manufacturing processes.

Aim: To evaluate the photoprotective potential of chocolate consumption, comparing a conventional dark chocolate to a specially produced chocolate with preserved high flavanol (HF) levels.

Methods: A double-blind in vivo study in 30 healthy subjects was conducted. Fifteen subjects each were randomly assigned to either a HF or low flavanol (LF) chocolate group and consumed a 20 g portion of their allocated chocolate daily. The minimal erythema dose (MED) was assessed at baseline and after 12 weeks under standardized conditions.

Results: In the HF chocolate group the mean MED more than doubled after 12 weeks of chocolate consumption, while in the LF chocolate group, the MED remained without significant change.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that regular consumption of a chocolate rich in flavanols confers significant photoprotection and can thus be effective at protecting human skin from harmful UV effects. Conventional chocolate has no such effect.

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