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Healthiest ways to indulge in chocolate.
December 20, 2004
12:38 pm
Gunnaknow
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December 14, 2004
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Chocolate contains powerful antioxidants that fight free radical damadge in the body. Free radicals are one of the main causes of aging and age related degenerative deseases. They are volatile oxygen bonded molecules, which damadge cells and DNA. Antioxidants neutralise these harmful free radicals. Chocolate has been shown to contain certain powerful antioxidants. It also has properties which lower bad cholesteral and raise good cholesteral. Helping to fight artery scarring and hardening.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_…..011703.php
http://www.phenomenews.com/smi…..hjones.htm

Dark chocolate is by far the best. The milk in milk chocolate blocks the antioxidants from being absorbed. Dark chocolate also has a higher concentration of these good plant chemicals.

Try to choose a dark chocolate that is very high in cocoa mass and low in sugar. Sugar has been shown to cause free radical damaadge in the body. So the less sugar in your chocolate the better. 90% cocoa mass if you can stand it. You can, if experienced enough, take your favourite dark chocolate and mix it with 100% pure chocolate, to strengthen the chocolate, whilst retaining your favourite flavour in your preferred chocolate.

Unrefined sugar contains significant amounts of trace elements, which make it healthier for you than refined, white sugar. Raw cane sugar is the healthiest sugar. Refined sugar also robs the body of important trace elements when metabolised in the body. Raw cane sugar has these nutrients needed within it, so does not diminish your body’s own levels.

You can either buy a chocolate made with raw cane sugar, or if experienced enough, make your own chocolate, by mixing 100% pure chocolate with perhaps 10% raw cane sugar.

You could also choose to replace some of the sugar with bits of dried fruits, which although high in sugars, offer many beneficial trace elements and nutrients, not found in sugar.

Another way to complement and strengthen the health benefits of chocolate is to add other superfood ingredients. Lemon zest is extremely high in antioxidants called bioflavonoids. They are much more powerful than vitamin C or E at neutralising damadging free radicals. Either buy organic lemons and then wash them in warm/hot water, to remove any wax before zesting them, or buy unwaxed lemons and again wash them in warm/hot water to remove any unwanted chemicals.

http://www.ricote.biz/citrus/g…..owder.html

You can add fresh ginger to your chocolate aswel. Ginger is also extremely high in antioxidants and has numerous health benefits. Buy the freshest ginger you can, then peel off the skin and either crush cut or grate the flesh, depending on how you like it in your chocolate.

http://www.1fast400.com/a39_Gi…..ealth.html

You can also, if that way inclined, add your own fresh chilly to your chocolate. Fresh chillies are also particularly high in bioflavonoids. They also contain capsaicin which has been shown to have many extremely beneficial effects in the body.

Eating chillies also releases endorphins in the brain, which are a natural pain killer and produce a sensation of pleasure. Chocolate also releases endorphins, so combining the two might be a very heady mix indeed.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/20…..health.htm

If you know how to temper chocolate you could quite easily make your own chocolate bars by melting your favourite chocolate, adding additional pure 100% chocolate to strengthen it and reduce the sugar percentage and/or adding any of the superfood ingredients I mentioned. Finally pouring into a tray and cutting into bars, or pouring into moulds.

You could also just buy 100% chocolate (only the finest ofcourse), melt it, add 10%+ raw cane sugar and any of the health beneficial ingredients you like. Pouring into moulds or a tray, before cutting.

-zero is where truth begins. Didn’t you know? You can’t say it wasn’t obvious.-

December 20, 2004
1:06 pm
Sebastian
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Actually, a few points need to be clarified. The class of compounds that are ‘heart healthy’ you refer to are polyphenols, specifically, flavonoids. I believe I posted a fairly comprehensive list of them a few months ago. Generally speaking, dark chocolates will have more of these than milks; however that’s not always going to be the case, as there are a number of factors that go into this. Milk does not block polyphenols from being ‘absorbed’. Unrefined sugars are not ‘healthier’ than refined simply because of trace components – arsenic can be (and i’ve seen it) a trace component in unrefined sugars, and I doubt very much anyone’d argue it presence is a plus. Sugars do not cause oxaditive damage (although they themselves are oxidized.

Don’t mean to sound short, but I’ve not much time this morning. Yes, I am a professional chocolate maker, and yes, I am a geneticist…

December 20, 2004
2:44 pm
Gunnaknow
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Blip.

-Zero is where truth begins. Didn’t you know? You can’t say it wasn’t obvious.-

December 20, 2004
2:44 pm
Gunnaknow
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Yes, I should have mentioned that the antioxidants in chocolate are called polyphenols. Catechins particularly. They are also found in tea. Especially green tea.

Milk has been shown in a recent study to block the absorbtion of epicatechin into blood plasma.

http://www.newscientist.com/ar…..?id=dn4101

If you have newer studies or documents to show that this is not the case, please tell me Sebastian.

Let me rephrase my statement. Unrefined, raw sugar *without arsenic* is healthier for you than refined sugar *without arsenic*. Sebastian, how much arsenic are you actually talking about having seen in the COA’s (certificates of analysis) or COC’s (certificates of conformity)? Traces of arsenic, metals and certain moulds are typical of many, many processed foods. Typically under 2 parts per million for arsenic, or 2mg per kg. We are talking about such minute fractions here. Traces low enough to be deemed safe by the food standards agency. Traces will still usually exist in refined sugars.

If you are talking about amounts that do not meet with conformity of the food standards agency and are not issued with certificates, then clearly I, or anyone else would not advise people to eat it. It shouldn’t even be in the shops and legal action is necessary if it is.

Further more, sugar has been shown in studies to increase free radical production indirectly. Sugar (sucrose) is a disaccharide, which means that it is made up of two smaller sugars, called monosaccharides. Sucrose is made of 50% glucose and 50% fructose. Fructose is not able to be turned into glycogen in the muscles, unlike glucose. The liver is the only place that can make and store glycogen made from fructose. If the liver is already stocked with glycogen, it will convert the fructose into triglyceride fats, which are particularly bad for the arteries. The excessive cholesterol and free fatty acid (FFA), when released in order to generate energy for the body, causes the production of free radical metabolites.

http://www.a3r.org/briefs/suga….._aging.cfm

http://www.lowcarb.ca/articles…..le001.html

http://www.mercola.com/2000/au…..dicals.htm

Unrefined foods, including sugar are preferable to refined foods because many of the enzymes involved in free radical protection, including catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase, require the trace nutrients that are lost in the refining process. Without these control enzymes, free radicals are generated at an ever-increasing rate.

Anyway, perhaps I could hear more back on people making their own chocolate bars. I find that more interesting.

-Zero is where truth begins. Didn’t you know? You can’t say it wasn’t obvious.-

December 20, 2004
3:39 pm
Sebastian
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The types of polyphenols found in chocolate are pretty different than those in green tea. teas and grapes are pretty high in egcg and egc(epigallocatechin gallate, epicatechin gallate), whereas cacao’s are much higher in procyanadins and traditionally, monomeric structures.

The new scientist article you reference on milk intereference is pretty short on details, and i’d take issue with a number of things there. one is the statement that darks have 2x the level of polyphenols as milks , which just isn’t true most of the time. Second, they didn’t state if they’d standardized the level, or even type, of polyphenols in their study, only that they subjects were given 2x the amount of milk chocolate than dark. There are dozens of studies that show in increase in [plasma polyphenol], so view their article in light of that as well.

Regarding nonrefined sugars, i was simply using arsenic for illustrative purposes. Just because a product has trace levels of other materials does not mean it’s more healty for you. Often times thsoe impurities have negative effects associated with them, often times they’re ok, and often times it just doesn’t matter one way or another. One of your links is coming up dead for me, the second is on an atkins type site and the 3rd is being promoted by a doctor with a book to sell – not exacly conflict of interest free sites known for their peer reviewed thoroughness 8-) they also reference dextrose, not sucrose. Always got to look at who’s sponsoring the study, who’s promoting it’s results, and are the results being displayed fairly and completely. I can make just about any study say anything I want it to, if i manipulate the data sufficiently and only report those factors selectively that i want to. Did you know that breathing is the single most source of free radical generation, by several orders of magnitude, in fact. And while the liver is the single largest respository of glycogen reserves in the body, your muscles also store it as well. From memory, i think the liver holds about 300 g of glycogen in reserve at any given time, though i may be off by 100g or so (need to find a chocolate that improves memory, i do..).

We’ve several projects under way with the NIH and USDA, as well as internally to quantitate and idenetify the different polyphenols in our favorites products. Historical analysis has focused on the monomers (catechins and epicatechins), but there are (or can be) significant levels of oligomeric materials such as the procyanadins as well. You can expect the monomers to end up dimerizing upon alkalization, for example. These, interestingly, can favor eicosanoid synthesis (decrease the leukotriene/prostacyclin ratio), which provides a plausible mechanism for decrease in platelet activation in humans.

December 20, 2004
6:51 pm
Gunnaknow
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December 14, 2004
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“The types of polyphenols found in chocolate are pretty different than those in green tea. teas and grapes are pretty high in egcg and egc(epigallocatechin gallate, epicatechin gallate), whereas cacao’s are much higher in procyanadins and traditionally, monomeric structures.”

Correct. The polyphenols are different. I never suggested that they were the same Sebastian but never mind.

“The new scientist article you reference on milk intereference is pretty short on details, and i’d take issue with a number of things there. one is the statement that darks have 2x the level of polyphenols as milks , which just isn’t true most of the time. Second, they didn’t state if they’d standardized the level, or even type, of polyphenols in their study, only that they subjects were given 2x the amount of milk chocolate than dark. There are dozens of studies that show in increase in [plasma polyphenol], so view their article in light of that as well.”

I suggest you read this. It will give you all of the specifics. It has clearly been standardised. If I had known that I would have to go to this much trouble to hunt down and deliver every single scrap of information, before you would consider it plausible I wouldn’t have started the thread, LOL. ;)

http://www.cienciateca.com/chocolate%20antioxidante.pdf

“Regarding nonrefined sugars, i was simply using arsenic for illustrative purposes.”

Understood. It was important for me to clarify to others that unrefined sugar is not high in arsenic particularly and that many processed foods in the shops have minute traces of arsenic, metals, moulds and microbes. The amounts of arsenic in something like sugar are likely to well below 2 parts per million. You are considerably more at risk from eating something like fresh fish, which although only has low amounts of contaminants, it is still much higher than in something like sugar. I think we both agree here, so we can forget about arsenic for now.

“Just because a product has trace levels of other materials does not mean it’s more healty for you. Often times thsoe impurities have negative effects associated with them, often times they’re ok”

You have misunderstood me Sebastian. I was not talking about trace levels of other materials. I was talking about the naturally found vitamins and minerals found in sugar before it has been refined. Iron, calcium, copper, chromium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Also Vitamin B and E. They are removed from the sugar when it is refined and causes the sugar to steal these vitamins and minerals from the body during metabolism.

I should have suggested the use of molasses before. Eating raw cane sugar is better than eating refined sugar but eating molasses is considerably better.

“One of your links is coming up dead for me”

Here, try it now.

http://www.a3r.org/briefs/sugar_aging.cfm

“the second is on an atkins type site and the 3rd is being promoted by a doctor with a book to sell – not exacly conflict of interest free sites known for their peer reviewed thoroughness”

Agreed. I only threw these links in because it would help those interested to understand more. I didn’t think that I would be expected to produce scientific papers for every single link. They are just extra links thrown in which follow the same study detailed in the first of the three links, which you couldn’t open. I first suggest that you read the first of the three links. The main body of work. If you then want to question the scientific work, I suggest you look at the scientific referances and then analyise them individually. I have not heard anything from you which gives any specific reasons to doubt the work. You would need to give me scientific documents which contradict the work first.

“Did you know that breathing is the single most source of free radical generation”

It is not breathing that is the direct problem. It is the uptake of oxygen into the cells’ mitochondrias which does the damadge. Aerobic respiration is the direct problem. Oxygen is simply far to reactive an element. It likes to bond with things because of the odd number of electrons in it’s outer ring. In so doing, it damadges our cells. Billions of years ago all microbes used anaerobic metabolism. Plant life, like algae put oxygen into the atmosphere over time. One day a mutant microbe eventually developed the ability to use the oxygen for energy production. It passed it’s adaptation onto future generations, which slowly evolved it into a highly developed and successful form of energy production. The energy that oxygen gave was so large that this line of decendants thrived and became the ancestors of all animals to this day. The advantage to life is the huge amount of energy created from using oxygen. Due to it’s reactivity. The disadvantage is that oxygen’s reactivity also causes it to bond with atoms in DNA and damadge it. Setting the stage for degenerative aging. It’s reactivity is down to it having an odd number of electrons in it’s outer ring, which compells it to bond with many things in order to gain an electron and thus even out it’s outer ring. The cells have antioxidants as their defense, which donate an electron to the oxygen and neutralise it. Oxygen damadge is inevitable over time though. Oxygen is aging us as we speak. We can slow it down by eating the right foods and avoiding others but nothing can actually stop it.

“while the liver is the single largest respository of glycogen reserves in the body, your muscles also store it as well”

I mentioned this before Sebastian. Did you not see? Oh well.

Sebastian, just a suggestion. Maybe we should let this thread die. I really don’t fancy writing these long posts in order to explain things in scientific detail and I am sure you don’t either. Chocolate is so much more important, LOL.

-Zero is where truth begins. Didn’t you know? You can’t say it wasn’t obvious.-

December 20, 2004
8:30 pm
Sebastian
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I’m a scientist, and I’ve studied these things in detail – what did you expect? 8-) Regarding glycogen (your post is now showing that it’s been edited), it now reads (and may always have read), ‘the liver is the only place that can make and store glycogen..’. I’ve participated in most of the studies that have been done, so I’m well aware of their experimental designs, and the one you reference is simply of poor design – which is nothing unusual, there are plenty of bad tests out there. You simply had a number of things that are incorrect, and being the stickler for facts that I am, pointed them out. Don’t mean for you to adapt a defensive posture, but facts is facts, and I do this for a living. My time is fairly limited while I’m at work, so I don’t have time to go through the last link you provided, but it is being hosted by an antiaging site, which right off the bat makes me fairly skeptical (and i’ve done work on oxidative telomere degredation..). And to the contrary, those who’ve read my posts here know I love to explain things in scientific detail, most often the opportunity doesn’t present itself 8-)

December 20, 2004
9:22 pm
Gunnaknow
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“I’m a scientist, and I’ve studied these things in detail – what did you expect? 8-)”

LOL, I didn’t expect a scientist in the first place. I would expect nothing less from a scientist though. Unfortunately, scientists are often wrong in their calculations and assumptions, just like the rest of us.

“Regarding glycogen (your post is now showing that it’s been edited), it now reads (and may always have read), ‘the liver is the only place that can make and store glycogen”

Sebastian, it says what it has always said. Which is that the liver is the only place that can convert fructose into glycogen and store it. It has also always said that muscle can only convert glucose into glycogen, not fructose.

“You simply had a number of things that are incorrect, and being the stickler for facts that I am, pointed them out”

So far, I am the only one who has offered any scientific literature. What makes you so clearly correct, whilst other scientists so clearly wrong? First give me scientific literature and documents which contradict the scientific literature I have produced and then we can debate on it further. Until then, I would like to end that part of the discussion. It would also help if you could correctly read what I have said before you make arguments against it.

Sebastian, can we agree to terminate this thread or something?

-Zero is where truth begins. Didn’t you know? You can’t say it wasn’t obvious.-

December 20, 2004
9:51 pm
Sebastian
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I am more than happy to provide references; as i’d stated, i’m at work and have other obligations. I have gone back and re-read everything, and still come to the same conclusion. I never meant to offend or put you on the defensive, only correct where your sources had provided misinformation. Unless anyone else expresses interest in continuing this, please contact me via my email in my profile, and I’ll happily provide you with enough reading to keep you busy for perhaps the next couple of years. Absent that interest, I think it’s best to let this thread die as I’m not sure I like where it’s going.

December 21, 2004
6:54 am
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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As you can see I have edited your posts. (I have kept a copy of the original posts if you’re interested or if you think anything essential was left out.)

If I can make a general comment here, I can see why discussions like these are troublesome, not only because of the length and level of detail. (Length can usually be justified as long as the discussants stick to topic.) Firstly, it is easy for the non-skilled to fall off if specialised knowledge is required to understand the arguments. But of course, the educational value of research results and background information is appreciated. Secondly, even non-scientists are aware that the label ‘research’ doesn’t guarantee that the actual study has been conducted in accordance to scientific standards. Furthermore, as most of us know there are numerous research projects which funders have an interest in the topic in question, not all of us are capable of judging the research design. Hence, sources aren’t necessarily the most appropriate ‘weapons’ in order to bring the discussion any further. The discussion might take the direction of a discussion of sources and the quality of these instead. I understand why this is necessary from a scientific point of view though.

Discussions of this level and discussions between ‘experts’ (scientists or not) are indeed welcome, although I think it is essential that the debaters keep in mind that any discussion on facts as such should serve the superior topic; chocolate.

With that being said; The main topic of this thread is for sure interesting, but whether or not to terminate the discussion is up to you. As a lay person (in this case …!) I don’t know if there are anything further to discuss of relevance.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
December 21, 2004
9:50 am
Gunnaknow
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Sebastian, I will not continue to debate with you whether the findings are right or wrong because neither you or I can be certain of anything and to continue going back and forth will get us no where. I was more than willing to listen to you in your posts if you could give me scientific literature to back up what you were saying. It would have been better if you could have posted the literature you mention, so that others here could read it and decide whether you had any grounds to claim that I was wrong. Never mind.

I will be contacting you by email to ask for the most relevant study publications. Whether they will be in contrast with the body of evidence I have produced remains to be seen. I am open to all scientificly credible findings, if relevant.

OK, so we can bring the discussion here to an end. I will have my views and you will have yours and we won’t try to change that in this forum. Any further communications on this matter can be done by email.

Lonely, thankyou for stepping in as a referee. LOL. Editing was probably a good idea as you may have taken some of the entropic momentum out of the argument. Your own points of view are valid in my opinion aswel and the conclusions are worthy assessments.

Here’s to the end of a thread that started with good intentions but somehow ended up rotting from the inside out, before collapsing. This thread really needed to die. Cheers.

-Zero is where truth begins. Didn’t you know? You can’t say it wasn’t obvious.-