Sunday, January 2, 2011

Let them eat Chocolate!

Note: The Chalder Fatigue Scale is designed to detect ordinary
tiredness in people, but not pathological fatigue in disease. It has a
ceiling when it comes to the post-exertional malaise that ME/CFS
patients have. Other instruments are generally more effective in this
disease. This type of chocolate is also a good source of magnesium
which is related to mitochondrial function however this study did not
address that. There are studies that also show a decreased risk for
cardiovascular disease with chocolate consumption of this type
(providing weight does not increase) although again, this study did
not address the cardiovascular issues relating to ME/CFS.

High cocoa polyphenol rich chocolate may reduce the burden of the
symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome

Chocolate is rich in flavonoids that have been shown to be of benefit
in disparate conditions including cardiovascular disease and cancer.
The effect of polyphenol rich chocolate in subjects with chronic
fatigue syndrome (CFS) has not been studied previously.

Methods: We conducted a double blinded, randomised, clinical pilot
crossover study comparing high cocoa liquor / polyphenol rich
chocolate (HCL/PR) in comparison to simulated iso-calorific chocolate
(cocoa liquor free/ low polyphenols(CLF/LP)) on fatigue and residual
function in subjects with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Subjects with CFS having severe fatigue of at least 10 out of 11 on
the Chalder Fatigue Scale were enrolled. Subjects had either 8 weeks
of intervention in the form of HCL/PR or CLF/LP, with a 2 week wash
out period followed by 8 weeks of intervention with the other

Results: Ten subjects were enrolled in the study.

The Chalder Fatigue Scale score improved significantly after 8 weeks
of the HCL/PR chocolate arm [median (range) Exact Sig. (2-tailed)] [33
(25 - 38) vs.

21.5 (6 - 35) 0.01], but that deteriorated significantly when subjects
were given simulated iso-calorific chocolate (CLF/CP) [ 28.5 (17 - 20)
vs. 34.5 (13-26) 0.03].

The residual function, as assessed by the London Handicap scale, also
improved significantly after the HCL/PR arm [0.49 (0.33 - 0.62) vs.
0.64 ( 0.44 - 0.83) 0.01] and deteriorated after iso-calorific
chocolate [00.44 (0.43 - 0.68) vs.

0.36 ( 0.33 - 0.62)0.03]. Likewise the Hospital Anxiety and Depression
score also improved after the HCL/PR arm, but deteriorated after

Mean weight remained unchanged throughout the trial.

Conclusion: This study suggests that HCL/ PR chocolate may improve
symptoms in subjects with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Author: Thozhukat SathyapalanStephen BeckettAlan RigbyDuane MellorStephen Atkin
Credits/Source: Nutrition Journal 2010, 9:55

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