Anti-aging Chocolate: Dream Come True?

If you’ve ever wished that eating chocolate would make you younger, brace yourself: your dreams may have just come true.  A UK-based company is in the midst of launching an anti-aging chocolate which combines the benefits of astaxanthin, a marine-sourced antioxidant, and the flavonol-rich properties of cocoa beans.  Is this a dream come true or too good to be true?

Geared toward young urban professionals who may want to take their health supplements in a more unique way than your run-of-the-mill pills and capsules, each individual daily serving of 7.5 grams of dark chocolate is conveniently packaged and sold in three-week supplies and will more than likely be available exclusively online and in specialty shops and spas.  Don’t expect to see this at your local drugstore.

Although taking daily dietary supplements in the form of luxuriously indulgent pieces of chocolate may be a novel idea, the science behind it is not new.  Astaxanthin has been touted as a super-anti-oxidant for a number of years now.  Studies have concluded that it is 6000 times more powerful than vitamin C.  As a daily supplement, its benefits are wide and varied:

  • Relieves pain and inflammation
  • Promotes eye health
  • Boosts endurance by improving muscle recovery after exertion
  • Minimizes UVA damage to the skin by neutralizing free radicals, which in turn can help slow down premature aging
  • Increases hydration to minimize appearance of wrinkles

The flavonols in cocoa beans have long been credited with such benefits as preventing blood clots, reducing levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol as well as cutting the risk of heart failure.  However, it’s debatable whether the chocolate we eat contains any significant amount of flavanols at all. In fact, flavanols, along with all their purported health benefits, are virtually destroyed once the beans have been heated and processed into the chocolate that we all love.

It is much too early to say whether anti-aging chocolate can actually give you the skin of a 20-year old.  For now, my bet is still on tried-and-true solutions: sunscreen, serum and moisturizer.

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