Chocolate Equals Exercise?

A recent study shows that moderate amounts of high quality dark chocolate can be as good as working out.

Cocoa was found to have a particular compound called epithacin and this supposedly improved muscle like exercise does.

Researchers at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, performed a test on three sets of 12-month-old mice, the counterpart of middle aged humans: one was given epithacin twice a day for 15 days, the second one was also given epithacin and spent 30 minutes on a treadmill, while the third exercised without receiving the extract.

Scientists have seen an increase in the number of energy-producing mitochondria, the ‘powerhouses’ of cells, in the mice that only took epithacin and they had considerably better muscle performance and took a longer time to get tired compared to those that only exercised. It was strange as these mitochondria are normally a byproduct of getting aerobic exercise such as running on the treadmill.

More mitochondria mean more energy, thus, allowing you to perform longer. The research team is hopeful that their experiments could eventually help in working against the dreaded age-related muscle wasting.

According to research leader Dr Moh Malek: “Those getting only epicatechin had a significantly better muscle performance and took longer to tire than those that only exercised. The group doing both showed even greater improvement, so it appears epicatechin combined with exercise may be a viable means to offset muscle ageing.” They were enthralled to learn how natural products can copy and improve the effects of exercise.

Unfortunately though, they are too early in their studies for them to come up with any conclusions about humans getting the same benefits as those of the mice’s.

Dr Malek also added: ”At the moment it would be a leap of faith to say the same effects would be seen in humans. But it is something we hope to identify in future studies.”

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