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New research revealed two unexpected properties of chocolate. Here's how it affects health

New research revealed two unexpected properties of chocolate. Here's how it affects health How chocolate actually affects health (photo: Freepik)

A Chinese study has shown that chocolate may promote weight loss and also protect against Alzheimer's disease, according to the New York Post.

How chocolate improves cognitive functions

According to a study by Zhengzhou University in China, published this month in the Journal of Functional Foods, the chemical compound theobromine found in chocolate has many benefits for the body and the brain.

The chemical compound present in cocoa beans is anti-inflammatory, has a high content of antioxidants, and can protect the brain from Alzheimer's disease.

Scientists also say that theobromine may counteract the impact of high cholesterol levels on memory and cognitive functions.

"Theobromine has demonstrated neuroprotective properties, the ability to prevent neuronal damage, and enhancements in motor memory and cognitive regulatory functions," write the authors of the study.

How chocolate helps with weight loss

Consumption of chocolate can also help you lose weight, as theobromine helps the body break down fats.

The authors referred to another study that found a link between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and obesity.

"In a study by Dan Wei et al., the effects of theobromine on an NAFLD mouse model were examined, revealing that theobromine led to reductions in body weight, liver weight, and improvements in liver morphology," explain the scientists.

Theobromine protects the kidneys and can prevent the formation of kidney stones. According to scientists, consuming chocolate can also strengthen the immune system.

"Inflammation is a multifaceted process that engages white blood cells and the release of chemicals into the bloodstream or affected tissues to combat foreign invaders. Theobromine demonstrates anti-inflammatory effects on diverse cell types, including macrophages and chondrocytes," added the researchers.

Also, read about how to choose safe cookies for your child.

Earlier, we wrote about whether fruits in chocolate are truly beneficial.