The influence of chocolate on human health
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Katedra i Zakład Podstawowych Nauk Biomedycznych, Wydział Farmaceutyczny z Oddziałem Medycyny Laboratoryjnej w Sosnowcu, Śląski Uniwersytet Medyczny w Katowicach
Anna Stolecka-Warzecha   

Katedra i Zakład Podstawowych Nauk Biomedycznych, Wydział Farmaceutyczny z Oddziałem Medycyny Laboratoryjnej w Sosnowcu, Śląski Uniwersytet Medyczny w Katowicach, ul. Kasztanowa 3, 41-200 Sosnowiec
Ann. Acad. Med. Siles. 2018;72:69–79
Recent research confirms the healthy properties of chocolate. However, the history of cocoa as a drug dates back several thousand years. The cocoa tree growing in the equatorial climate in the beliefs of the ancient Maya and Aztecs was a divine gift for humanity providing wisdom and universal knowledge. From its grains, cocoa powder is obtained for the production of chocolate, which contains many bioactive components, including vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and fatty acids. Chocolate positively affects the mood, reduces the susceptibility to depression and reduces oxidative stress. Consuming chocolate during pregnancy can improve the mental state of future mothers and reduce the negative impact of maternal stress on the infant. Due to the high content of flavanols it has antiinflammatory, antiallergic, anti-viral and anticancer properties. It positively affects memory and cognitive skills, and can reduce the risk of dementia. Regular consumption of products containing cocoa reduces the risk of death from cardiovascular causes, especially stroke, and may reduce peripheral insulin resistance in women with type 2 diabetes. It has a stimulating effect on mental and physical exercise. It provides a feeling of fullness, which is why it was added to soldier's food rations during the First World War. However, it should be remembered that the consumption of chocolate raises the level of oxalic acid in the urine, and may lead to exacerbation of acne vulgaris. What is very important, this product is toxic for animals. Chocolate also contains compounds whose health importance is not known in detail.
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