HEALTH
The benefits of cocoa

A drink universally appreciated for its taste, cocoa would also be good for your health. This is the preliminary result of a British study published in early March in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry. The initial findings seem to confirm that the richness of cocoa in flavonoids – molecules known for their anti-inflammatory effects – could reduce chronic fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis. To confirm this hypothesis, scientists at the Oxford Centre for Health and Nutrition in Oxford, Great Britain, conducted a first clinical trial on 40 patients, divided into two groups. For six weeks, patients in the first group received a cocoa drink with a high flavonoid content while participants in the second group were offered another beverage, low in flavonoids. In the group of patients who had consumed cocoa, fatigue would have been reduced by 45% and walking speed – the fatigability criterion – increased by 80%. Cautious, however, the researchers admit that a study with a larger sample of individuals and more prolonged follow-up would be necessary before recommending new nutritional rules to patients with multiple sclerosis.