When you’re feeling low, some chocolate can often perk you up.
If you are someone who suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, the flavonoids in chocolate may actually help alleviate your symptoms.
A study published in Nutrition Journal describes how dark chocolate that is rich in polyphenols was more effective in helping subjects manage their chronic fatigue symptoms over eight week periods than those taking “regular” chocolate.1
Update: A systematic review of effective interventions for chronic fatigue symptoms included not only dark chocolate, but nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide hydride (NADH, a cofator essential for metabolism, and found in all cells), probiotics, and a combination of NADH and coenzyme Q10.2
Epicatechin is another compound that is found in dark chocolate. Catechins are natural antioxidants found in a number of foods.
Scientists have determined that epicatechin may protect the brain after one has suffered a stroke. It may do so by stimulating the signals given by cells to protect nerve cells from damage. 3
Editor’s Note: Antioxidants are essential for maintaining healthy vision and overall health.
Lactulose & Stroke Recovery
Based on a new research study done on mice, a simple drink of water laced with hydrogen gas–lactulose–might help prevent brain damage due to a stroke. The gas appears to protect cells from the after effects of oxygen starvation possibly by reacting with and disabling the post stroke toxic oxygen effects.
In the West, stroke is the second leading cause of death (heart disease is #1). During an ischemic stroke, a blockage chokes off blood flow to the brain. Part of the brain dies, and if the damage is serious enough, the individual dies. The sooner the stroke is mitigated, the less damage to the brain. Stroke victims can have long-term difficulty with cognition, using parts of their body, eating, doing daily tasks, and caring for themselves.
Risk factors for stroke that are not easily controlled include age, gender, race, and family history. Controllable risk factors include high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, high cholesterol, diabetes, atherosclerosis, circulation problems, tobacco, alcohol, lack of exercise, and obesity. Preventing a first stroke helps prevent future strokes, since having a stroke in the past also increases the risk — if the first stroke is survived.
To detect whether someone may be having a stroke, the “FAST” method is recommended.
- F = Face (Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?)
- A = Arms (Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?)
- S = Speech (Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?)
- T = Time (If you observe any of these signs (independently or together), call 9-1-1 immediately)
A new study examined whether mixing hydrogen gas with water — to create lactulose — and drinking it immediately after an stroke reduced brain damage. They found in animal studies that the lactulose had an anti-oxidant effect and reduced neurological damage from ischemic stroke. The hydrogen gas seemed to protect cells from the after-effects of oxygen deprivation.
The scientists called for more research into whether lactulose could have a preventative effect, to avoid strokes in the future. Also, they hypothesized that hydrogen gas in water could act as a powerful antioxidant to prevent or treat cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease, etc. Currently, there are no signs of hydrogen gas being toxic to humans.
- https://www.nutritionj.com/content/9/1/55. ↩
- Campagnolo N, et al. (2017). Dietary and nutrition interventions for the therapeutic treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis: a systematic review. J Hum Nutr Diet. Jun;30(3):247-259. ↩
- Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, May 5, 2010. ↩
- Lactulose: an effective preventive and therapeutic option for ischemic stroke by production of hydrogen.” by Chen Et. Al. Medical Gas Research 2012, 2:3. ↩