by Dr. Thomas Ball

I am happy to note that there is ever increasing research that indicates that chocolate is good for you.  I recently read several articles that explain how and why this is true.  I have underlined some of the biggest benefits that chocolate and specifically cocoa provides.  You can jump straight to the articles posted at the bottom of this blog or read these few paragraphs here that highlight some of the more recent studies:

It might seem too good to be true, but dark chocolate is good for you and scientists now know why. It improves health largely by being indigestible.  Researchers at LouisianaState reached this conclusion after simulating the human digestive system in glass vessels. One represented the stomach and the small intestine, with their digestive enzymes, and a second reproduced a large-intestine-like environment, with gut microbes from human volunteers. The scientists then added cocoa powder to the stomach vessel.

The “stomach” and “small intestine” broke down and absorbed some of the cocoa. But while many of the flavonols previously identified in chocolate were digested in this way, there was still plenty of undigested cocoa matter. Gut bacteria in the simulated colon then broke that down further into metabolites, small enough to be absorbed into the bloodstream and known to reduce cardiac inflammation. Finally, the last undigested cocoa matter, now mostly fiber, began to ferment, releasing substances that improve cholesterol levels. And there was another health-giving twist to this entire process: The gut microbes that digested the cocoa were desirable probiotics like lactobacillus whose numbers appeared to increase after the introduction of the cocoa, while less-salutary microbes like staphylococcus declined in number.

Dark chocolate helps restore flexibility to arteries while also preventing white blood cellsfrom sticking to the walls of blood vessels. Both arterial stiffness and white blood cell adhesion are known factors that play a significant role in atherosclerosis. What’s more, the scientists also found that increasing the flavonol content of dark chocolate did not change this effect. This discovery was published in the March 2014 issue of The FASEB(Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) Journal)

Upon reading deeper into these articles it is the cocoa in chocolate that offers the main benefits- so you might think to sprinkle some pure cocoa power onto your oatmeal or add it to your coffee or even blend some into your smoothies for a nutritional boost.  I am writing this blog while enjoying a big cup of hot cocoa, and after reading of all these benefits I am enjoying my cocoa even more today than usual. : )

Most of our patients want to improve their health and live productive, pain-free lives as they age. If it is not already, regular chiropractic treatment should be a part of your preventive health strategy to maintain a pain-free active lifestyle.

The chiropractic physicians at PerformanceHealthCenter are here to assist you in the functional part of your health which includes your posture and spine.  If you have any questions, please contact me.

April 27, 2014 article from the New York Times:

February 27, 2014 Article from Science Daily:


Thomas Ball, M.S., D.C.


There will be no oly class this Sunday. Open gym is still on.

1. Deadlift
80% x 5 x 3
2. once through
run 1200 meters
63 kbs@53/35
36 pull-ups