Chocolate can reduce the risk of depression by 70 percent

Chocolate certainly doesn't make you thin, but it does make you happy at times. (Image: Knut Wiarda)

Does chocolate protect against depression?

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to protect yourself from depression and at the same time to have delicious sweets? Researchers have now found that consuming chocolate can reduce the risk of depression by up to 70 percent.

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The latest study by University College London found that consuming chocolate can protect against depression. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Depression & Anxiety".

Chocolate certainly doesn't make you thinner, but it does improve mood and protect against depression. (Image: Knut Wiarda)

Depression risk was reduced by up to 70 percent

The study found that consuming a little more than 100 g of chocolate a day seems to promote mental health. Consumption of normal milk chocolate reduced the risk of depression for the heaviest consumers by up to 57 percent. If the subjects in the study only consumed dark chocolate, they reduced their risk of depression by as much as 70 percent, reports the research team.

Chocolate instead of antidepressants?

The results of the study of almost 14,000 adult participants lead the researchers to the assumption that chocolate could actually represent an alternative to antidepressants for some people. Key compounds in chocolate, such as flavonoids and phenylethylamine, seem to have a similarly positive effect on mood as cannabis, according to the researchers.

The results were sometimes surprising

The study provides some evidence that chocolate consumption, especially dark chocolate, may be associated with a decreased likelihood of clinically relevant depressive symptoms. It was surprising that chocolate consumption had such a big effect on mood, the researchers report. They were also surprised by the large amount of chocolate that the most consumed people consumed.

More research is needed

More research is needed now to examine exactly which compounds are responsible for chocolate's protective effects on mental health. It is possible that eating chocolate is such a pleasure for people that consumers simply feel happier, the research team from University College London sums up. (as)

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