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J Cosmet Dermatol. 2009 Sep;8(3):169-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1473-2165.2009.00448.x.

Eating chocolate can significantly protect the skin from UV light.

Author information

1
Cosmetic Science Group, School of Management and Science, London University of the Arts, London, UK. dr.williams@eudelo.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cocoa beans fresh from the tree are exceptionally rich in flavanols. Unfortunately, during conventional chocolate making, this high antioxidant capacity is greatly reduced due to manufacturing processes.

AIM:

To evaluate the photoprotective potential of chocolate consumption, comparing a conventional dark chocolate to a specially produced chocolate with preserved high flavanol (HF) levels.

METHODS:

A double-blind in vivo study in 30 healthy subjects was conducted. Fifteen subjects each were randomly assigned to either a HF or low flavanol (LF) chocolate group and consumed a 20 g portion of their allocated chocolate daily. The minimal erythema dose (MED) was assessed at baseline and after 12 weeks under standardized conditions.

RESULTS:

In the HF chocolate group the mean MED more than doubled after 12 weeks of chocolate consumption, while in the LF chocolate group, the MED remained without significant change.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our study demonstrated that regular consumption of a chocolate rich in flavanols confers significant photoprotection and can thus be effective at protecting human skin from harmful UV effects. Conventional chocolate has no such effect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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