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We ALL want to feel better these days, amirite? Is dark chocolate THE ANSWER?

Permission to indulge your chocolate craving . . .

Is dark chocolate really a mood-booster?

Can you confidently recommend dark chocolate to boost your clients’ and patients’ moods?

Good news: A recent high-quality clinical trial “is the first study that provides evidence that dark chocolate consumption in everyday life influences physiological and psychological states.”

So, yes! Your clients and patients CAN use chocolate as a mood-booster. This Health scoop mini article will help you understand why dark chocolate is a good choice, how much to recommend (without going overboard!), and how this luxurious food can impact mood.

Introducing a done-for-you pre-written Health scoop (new study update) that will help you share this information with your audience, along with ways to promote your chocolate recipes and products.
Stack of squares of dark chocolate to help improve moods

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Product Details:

Document Type: MS Word

Release Date: August 2022

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Effortlessly send your audience new and updated health information with practical tips or links to your recipes and recommended products each week without having to create something brand new from scratch.

This Health scoop (new study update) was created to help you consistently stay in touch with your email subscribers while keeping you up-to-date on some of the most fascinating recent studies and includes:

  • A short primer on the links between dark chocolate and mood

  • How this study was the first to determine a cause-effect relationship between daily consumption of 85% dark chocolate and a measurable reduction of negative feelings

  • How the dark chocolate increased the diversity of the gut microbiome and acted as a prebiotic to influence mood via the gut-brain axis

  • A natural fit for you to share your chocolate recipes or recommended products to establish your credibility even more

Consistently provide valuable, research-based health content to your audience without spending the time and effort to do the research and writing yourself.

Introductory Price: US$37 $27

Easy-to-understand study summary with some practical strategies and tips for your clients

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Stack of squares of dark chocolate to help improve moods

Customizable health study summary with practical tips

Release the pressure to create new health content every week and share study summaries and tips with your email subscribers and/or social media followers
Introductory price: US$27

Related topics: Dark chocolate, mood, gut microbiome, mental health, gut-brain axis

Backgrounder articles: Link to an article that briefly explains this new study

Study design: Blinded, randomized controlled trial that looked at two different levels of dark chocolate (70% and 85%) and their effect on moods and the gut microbiome

Image options: 5 related image links included

Subject line options (choose your favourite or A/B test two): 5 different subject lines included

Customization tips: 5 customization tips included

Email/Mini-article: A pre-written mini-article that explains the new study and gives you a natural way to share your dark chocolate recipes or product recommendations

Plus, a few more suggestions on what to add to your email newsletter after this Health scoop (new study update) to make it more than just educational, but also to build trust and market your health practice.

And it’s flexible! Here are just a few ways you could use this done-for-you Health scoop:

  • You could send one epic email to your newsletter subscribers. Or you could create several social media posts with easy-to-understand health information. Either option gives you several great opportunities to share your chocolate recipes and product recommendations so your readers can easily implement the knowledge to improve their health.
  • You could use this article as a foundation to record a short-but-sweet, science-backed, trust-building blog post, video, podcast episode, or social post talking about this groundbreaking study.

*Please don’t re-sell or distribute this Health scoop to other healthcare professionals or anyone else for their business/commercial use or in any way that earns them money or marks/grades/credits for their education. Please don’t submit it anywhere else as your own (i.e., as a guest post or to your school). NOTE: By purchasing this mini-article, you are the only one granted a limited license to use it (and there are only 73 licenses).

Want a sneak peek of a Health scoop (new study update), but on a different topic?

Click to view the reference for this Health scoop

Shin, J. H., Kim, C. S., Cha, L., Kim, S., Lee, S., Chae, S., Chun, W. Y., & Shin, D. M. (2022). Consumption of 85% cocoa dark chocolate improves mood in association with gut microbial changes in healthy adults: a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of nutritional biochemistry, 99, 108854. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnutbio.2021.108854

About the study:

  • This randomized controlled trial (RCT) had two objectives:
    • 1 –  “To examine whether dark chocolate consumption influences mood in healthy adults”
    • 2 – “Whether changes in mood are associated with regulation of the gut microbiota.”
  • RCTs are high-quality studies because they don’t just ask people how they feel and what they ate, they did an experiment by giving participants chocolate to eat every day and measured mood using a standardized test. They also wanted to see if there was any impact the chocolate had on the gut microbiome.
  • Researchers recruited adults ages 20-30 years old to participate. Applicants were excluded if they regularly ate sweets, have any gastrointestinal issues or diabetes, took antibiotics in the previous 3 months, took pre/probiotics in the previous 6 months, or had moderate or severe depression (measured via the Beck Depression Inventory). At the end of recruitment, a total of 48 adults met the study criteria and agreed to participate in the study.
  • Before the trial, each participant had their gut microbiota analyzed and did mood testing to measure their positive and negative affects (using the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule). They also had their body composition and diets assessed. All of these measurements were also taken after the trial (this is what makes the study experimental, not observational—there were measurements taken, then they made a change by eating chocolate, then the same measurements were taken again).
  • Each person got randomly assigned to one of three groups (so the trial was randomized): 85% dark chocolate, 70% dark chocolate, or no chocolate (the “no chocolate” group was the placebo). The two chocolate groups were given a supply of their assigned chocolate in multiple 10 g sealed packets and they agreed to eat three packets per day: one between 7:00-9:00 a.m., the second between 12:00-14:00 p.m., and the third between 17:00-19:00 p.m. This continued for three weeks, and each week when they went to get their next week’s supply of chocolate, they had to return any chocolate they didn’t eat during the week so the researchers could measure how much chocolate they actually ate.
  • This RCT was blinded as well. The participants in the chocolate groups didn’t know whether they were getting chocolate with 85% cocoa or 70% cocoa (they were “blind” to their “treatment” so there could be less influence on their results because they didn’t know which chocolate they received).
  • The second part of the study measured impacts to the gut microbiome. For these measurements, participants collected stool samples before and after their three week experiment and brought them to the lab for analysis.
  • Conclusions: 
    • “Intake of dark chocolate with a higher cocoa content has a positive influence on negative emotional states.” This means that after the three week trial, those who had the 85% chocolate felt less negativity than those who had 70% dark chocolate or no chocolate. (It didn’t increase positive affect; the chocolate decreased negative affect.)
    • “Daily intake of 85% dark chocolate increases the diversity of gut microbial communities.” This means that after the three week trial, those who had the 85% chocolate had a larger variety of different microbes in their gut.
    • “The mood-altering effect of 85% dark chocolate consumption may be mediated by changes in the diversity and abundance of intestinal bacteria.” This means that because this was a blinded, placebo-controlled RCT we can say with some confidence that the 85% chocolate for three weeks is what influenced the changes in mood and gut microbiome. (But, we can’t confirm that the change in gut microbiome influenced mood.)
  • Study strength is rated a 6/7 according to this chart (randomized controlled trial): https://www.compoundchem.com/2015/04/09/scientific-evidence/ 
  • All studies have limitations. Even though this was a blinded, placebo-controlled 3-week RCT, it was done in 20-30 year olds who met other health criteria, so we don’t know how much these results may apply to other people, say those of different ages, or who have recently taken antibiotics or pre/probiotics. Of course, the larger the study, the stronger the evidence, so additional research with more than 48 people, with a variety of health differences, and for longer than three weeks would provide more context to the results found here. 
  • Another point is that we don’t know what part of the 85% dark chocolate had an effect on the gut microbes (other studies point to the polyphenols, but we can’t be absolutely sure—more research is needed to confirm). We also don’t know why the 70% dark chocolate didn’t seem to have an effect (because the participants didn’t know whether they were getting 70% or 85% dark chocolate, we are pretty confident that the 85% dark chocolate had an effect and the 70% did not). It would be interesting to use different cocoa levels (not only 85% and 70%) and different daily amounts beyond 10 grams three times per day to see what, if any, effects those different “doses” of chocolate have on mood.
  • We also don’t know all of the ways that gut microbial diversity or individual microbes have an effect on the brain or mood. This study found changes in the amounts of two types of bacteria. At the end of the three weeks, the 85% dark chocolate group had significantly more Blautia obeum and significantly less Faecalibacterium prausnitzii than the control group.
  • This study confirms that 10g of 85% dark chocolate three times per day for three weeks certainly seems to impact moods—likely via prebiotic effects feeding the gut microbes—but we don’t know exactly how. We’re just “best-guessing” at this moment.
  • The researchers welcome more research on this topic:

“This encourages future studies that examine gut-brain signaling following a period of dark chocolate consumption. 

Despite its limitations, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that provides evidence that dark chocolate consumption in everyday life influences physiological and psychological states. These results suggest that dark chocolate has prebiotic effects by restructuring the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome, which may in turn improve mood via the gut-brain axis.”

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Stack of squares of dark chocolate to help improve moods

Introductory Price: US$37 $27

Easy-to-understand study summary with some practical strategies and tips for your clients

Buy 3 Health scoops or articles, get 1 free!

*** Discount is automatically applied at checkout when you have 4 in your cart ***

NOTE: This Health scoop mini-article has natural links to:

Click here to shop for articles.

This Health scoop has natural links to:

2021 Sep Microbiome and mental health

$37.00

Pre-written mini-article to customize and share


Click here for preview

Add to cart

Stress article

4,922 words in 3 parts – 19 references


Click here for preview

Add to cart