• Welcome to Phoenix Rising!

    Created in 2008, Phoenix Rising is the largest and oldest forum dedicated to furthering the understanding of and finding treatments for complex chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia (FM), long COVID, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and allied diseases.

    To register, simply click the Register button at the top right.

Dark Chocolate and CFS Study

http://www.nutritionj.com/content/9/1/55

Basically the information is that a doctor noted that a patient felt better after eating dark chocolate and did a study of ten patients in his practice.

THey ate 15 grams of DARK chocolate three times a day. After eight weeks they reported improvement, enough improvement where two of them went back to work.

Some articles state that the reason MIGHT be because it increases serotonin.
I can't begin to believe that because that would just mean they emotionally felt better, which is not enough to go back to work. This article does not claim that.

I am venturing to guess another possible reason for the improvement.
See my other thread on biofilm-forming protozoa.

The protozoa (it's biofilm) keeps nutrients from entering the body. Perhaps the chocolate is toxic to this protozoa. (Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats).

It's just a guess, but it's a possibility.

I do believe that when I got sick it was viral. It is possible that the virus opens the body to other infections such as the biofilm producing protozoa. It creates it's film, keeping nutrients from entering the body, creating a starvation of nutrients which reduces are energy to nil. This is guesswork. I'm trying to figure this out from my experience with this illness. I don't have a whole lot more to go on.

I have been trying eating dark (85%) chocolate for 6 weeks now and my energy level is up. Not enough to work, but I'm seeing improvement. Is it the chocolate? I don't know for sure. I'm always trying so many things to get well. Yes I know I'm supposed to try them one at a time so I know what's working, but sometimes I do get impatient with doing that. My life is only so long here.

It's supposed to take the full six weeks, with little or no improvement to start. The people in the study did not gain any weight. I'm finding the fat in the chocolate is cutting my appetite, so that may account, and anyway, someone figured out I was only adding 300 calories to my diet, daily.

I started out giving this a try as a joke. I've tried so many horrible awful things to try to get well. It would really be a joke if just eating chocolate would do it. I had to try it just to say I tried something easy to do.
If this ended up curing me it would be a big joke indeed!!!

I'd love it if others wanted to give this a try and report back on if it did anything for them. The nice thing about it is you don't need a prescription, and there aren't any side-effects (unless you get the good chocolate and eat too much of it like I did one week, and then I gained some weight, but as long as I've stuck to the 15 grams 3 times a day I have not gained any weight).

If nothing else, it's a good excuse to eat chocolate. :)
 

xrayspex

Senior Member
Messages
1,111
Location
u.s.a.
chocolate has been helpful to me over the years, the right amount is key
cheney started rec'd people having a little straightup dark chocololate
 

Little Bluestem

All Good Things Must Come to an End
Messages
4,930
I am open to any excuse to eat chocolate. :thumbsup: I gave up my dark chocolate (85%) during my attempt to lose weight this summer. It was such a hectic summer I cannot really say what, it any, effect that had on me. I think it is time to resume. I was eating it once a day, in the morning so that the caffeine would not interfere with my sleep. I think I was eating 40 grams. I will try the 3 X 15 gr. and see what happens.
 

Whit

Senior Member
Messages
395
Location
Bay Area
I've been eating dark chocolate ever since I got sick with CFS and I never really ate that much before I got sick. I had some periods where I got really strong chocolate cravings. I now eat some every day. Best thing for me is the lightest dark chocolate before it is milk chocolate. So 60-70% dark chocolate, so it's easier on the stomach and doesn't hit the brain so hard. Really strong dark chocolate can make me feel a little dizzy.

Keep in mind that chocolate has some caffeine in it. Which is what I've always thought explained why it gives me a little energy boost. Very very subtle, but it's there. Not even remotely close to a "back to work" improvement. I mean not even in the ballpark of that kind of effect.
 

Hope123

Senior Member
Messages
1,266
Yeah, I was going to say what the others said -- there probably is some boost just due to caffeine alone.

Dark chocolate is one of my remaining pleasures in life; the research out there suggests for maximum antioxidant effect to aim for over 70% cocoa solids. This is either on the label or in the ingridients list. In terms of weight, there are actually studies out there showing moderate consumption, contrary to what people think, might lead to weight loss or at least weight maintenance vs. weight gain. And no, it's not just excellent rationalization on my part! Try Trader Joe's if there is one near you -- reasonable prices. Other brands I love are Lindt, Scharfennberger, Vahlorna, Guittard,and Dove (yes, the ice-cream folks also make chocolate bars). I go for the plain bars -- not usually nut-filled or other stuff in the bar. 100% cocoa is too high; a friend once sent me some gourmet 100% and it was too bitter.
 

biophile

Places I'd rather be.
Messages
8,977
This was covered on another short thread, where I posted the following:
I was fairly skeptical when I first read about this study years ago. However, I have since learnt that the the polyphenols in dark chocolate can reduce the same specific markers of oxidative stress (and possibly inflammation as well) also found elevated in CFS, and this dark chocolate study was on CFS patients. The study trialled 15g of 85% cocoa dark chocolate 3 times a day. I purchased some but I didn't respond well to the caffeine so I had to stop. For those who can handle caffeine OK, it shouldn't hurt to try it unless there is something else in it that doesn't agree with you. It may also be possible to get decaffeinated dark chocolate?
 

beaverfury

beaverfury
Messages
503
Location
West Australia
Ha Ha, this is the sort of research i like!! If they find out that sleeping with supermodels has pain relieving effects,
this illness will get a whole lot better. If only the medical benefits system will fund that!:thumbsup:

I'm not so interested in the serotonin effects of chocolate as in the dopamine, noradrenaline raising effects of
phenethylamine found in chocolate.
Ive been trying to raise the function of my meso-limbic system with MAO foods to raise dopamine,noradrenaline.
This should have some pain relieving effects, and importantly for me, lift motivation to keep on fighting this
f#*#%* conundrum i find myself in.

Back to chocolate! You can buy 100% columbian pure so that youre not getting that sugary stuff which might not
help intestinal dysbiosis. No guilt tho. :devil: Just go for it!
 

GhostGum

Senior Member
Messages
316
Location
Vic, AU
Just a caution that very high % cacao products can end up causing all kinds of problems, including anxiety, on mood and especially on sleep. There is a good article here from someone who was caught up in the cacao hype,

http://www.highonhealth.org/is-cacao-good-or-bad/

Just have to take it in moderation and be aware of what it can do. Have tried myself many times to try and replace my milk chocolate habit with a good 70-80% cacao but I seem to always to come back to the bad stuff :eek:
 

peggy-sue

Senior Member
Messages
2,623
Location
Scotland
I also eat 81-85% dark choccie - because I love it.
It hasn't done anything for my ME, but as I have a tendency to eat it late at night it does interfere with sleep.
It's not caffeine in chocolate, it's theobromine, but it has similar effects to caffeine.

I've got some lovely dark choccie covered dark roasted coffee beans.....yum!
 

taniaaust1

Senior Member
Messages
13,054
Location
Sth Australia
I eat about 150g of sugar free dark chocolate per week (I have some most days) and have been doing that for about 6mths or so.. and noticed no improvement. Maybe 150g isnt enough to be getting those results. I used to eat more chocolate then that but have cut back as I have extremely high copper on my hair tests (and chocolate is meant to be high in copper).
...

I had a weak coffee the other day when I was extremely lethargic to the point where I felt like I needed to go to bed so drank it as I was starting to fall asleep on a visitor.. (i hadnt had that for ages since it collapsed me).
I managed to only drink half a cup before I started getting dizzy but found it really boosted my energy and the lethargy went completely.. getting rid of that and having my brain functional was worth putting up with the slight dizziness from it. Im thinking now of having a quarter of a cup of coffee .. a couple of times per day.. at times when lethargic, maybe i could do that without dizziness.. Coffee therapy?

Maybe that chocolate is having a similar stimulant affect on some as coffee has on me.
 

Sallysblooms

P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!
Messages
1,768
Location
Southern USA
I use 72-80 % Giradelli chocolate to make my own candy. I add coconut manna and a little coconut palm sugar also. I then pour it over cashews or peanuts in molds. Healthful and delicious. We eat it daily. There are so many benefits with dark chocolate and coconut manna.

I also make the candy without nuts and I add peppermint oil. WOW, so good!

Good for blood sugar, blood pressure, antioxidents help the heart and body (even more than the "Superfruits"), lowers cholestorol, helps blood flow also which is great for the skin.

gbi_memorialset_globe4.gif
 
I eat about 150g of sugar free dark chocolate per week (I have some most days) and have been doing that for about 6mths or so.. and noticed no improvement. Maybe 150g isnt enough to be getting those results. I used to eat more chocolate then that but have cut back as I have extremely high copper on my hair tests (and chocolate is meant to be high in copper).
...

I had a weak coffee the other day when I was extremely lethargic to the point where I felt like I needed to go to bed so drank it as I was starting to fall asleep on a visitor.. (i hadnt had that for ages since it collapsed me).
I managed to only drink half a cup before I started getting dizzy but found it really boosted my energy and the lethargy went completely.. getting rid of that and having my brain functional was worth putting up with the slight dizziness from it. Im thinking now of having a quarter of a cup of coffee .. a couple of times per day.. at times when lethargic, maybe i could do that without dizziness.. Coffee therapy?

Maybe that chocolate is having a similar stimulant affect on some as coffee has on me.


Be careful on this one.
I was trying coffee therapy for a while, heck I'll try anything (almost).
It turns out that coffee is HIGHLY addictive and it can cause anxiety, panic attacks, depression, moodiness and mood swings, etc. etc. It caused all that in me and more. I did some checking around with healthy people (on another forum) and many others (who were healthy) have experienced the same side effects.
So be aware.
 

peggy-sue

Senior Member
Messages
2,623
Location
Scotland
I was a real coffee addict when I got ill - I'd drink 6 x 10oz. mugs of really strong coffee a day as a matter of course, sometimes more.
I cut right down (it's not hard - a wee bit headachey if cold turkey - it's easier to taper down than cut it out)
I now have only 2 x 7oz. mugs a day, sometimes only one.

I don't cope well without it, I sleep better when I've had 2 mugs during the day rather than one - but I never touch it after 4 in the afternoon.
 
Messages
2,562
Location
US
I get side effects from caffeine, so I avoid it. Dark chocolate has a definite good effect on me. It has to be the theobromine.

But I think I would end up crashing if I had chocolate so much. You know, some supplements are a good short-term boost, but I think they sap overall health. Like that article someone linked above.

I definitely can't have chocolate within 5 hours of bedtime, or even 6 hours. Unless I am really, really tired and can barely stay awake. Then chocolate usually won't work (and that's when I usually want it to keep me awake).
 
Messages
15,786

The only possible outlier in Figure 1 seems to be Sweden. Given its per capita chocolate consumption of 6.4 kg per year, we would predict that Sweden should have produced a total of about 14 Nobel laureates, yet we observe 32. Considering that in this instance the observed number exceeds the expected number by a factor of more than 2, one cannot quite escape the notion that either the Nobel Committee in Stockholm has some inherent patriotic bias when assessing the candidates for these awards or, perhaps, that the Swedes are particularly sensitive to chocolate, and even minuscule amounts greatly enhance their cognition.

:D