Chronic stress; Dark chocolate; Metabonomics; Chemometrics

Chronic stress; Dark chocolate; Metabonomics; Chemometrics; Mass spectrometry; Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, J. Proteome Res., 2009, 8 (12), pp 5568–5579

Dietary preferences influence basal human metabolism and gut microbiome activity that in turn may have long-term health consequences. The present study reports the metabolic responses of free living subjects to a daily consumption of 40 g of dark chocolate for up to 14 days. A clinical trial was performed on a population of 30 human subjects, who were classified in low and high anxiety traits using validated psychological questionnaires. Biological fluids (urine and blood plasma) were collected during 3 test days at the beginning, midtime and at the end of a 2 week study. NMR and MS-based metabonomics were employed to study global changes in metabolism due to the chocolate consumption. Human subjects with higher anxiety trait showed a distinct metabolic profile indicative of a different energy homeostasis (lactate, citrate, succinate, trans-aconitate, urea, proline), hormonal metabolism (adrenaline, DOPA, 3-methoxy-tyrosine) and gut microbial activity (methylamines, p-cresol sulfate, hippurate). Dark chocolate reduced the urinary excretion of the stress hormone cortisol and catecholamines and partially normalized stress-related differences in energy metabolism (glycine, citrate, trans-aconitate, proline, β-alanine) and gut microbial activities (hippurate and p-cresol sulfate). The study provides strong evidence that a daily consumption of 40 g of dark chocolate during a period of 2 weeks is sufficient to modify the metabolism of free living and healthy human subjects, as per variation of both host and gut microbial metabolism.
Keywords:

Chronic stress; Dark chocolate; Metabonomics; Chemometrics; Mass spectrometry; Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

Category: Mental, Emotional & Spiritual Effects
Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010 02:32:00 AM
Views: 13406
Synopsis: The daily consumption of dark chocolate resulted in a significant modification of the metabolism of healthy and free living human volunteers with potential long-term consequences on human health within only 2 weeks treatment. This was observable through the reduction of levels of stress-associated hormones and normalization of the systemic stress metabolic signatures.