Why Dark Chocolate? (Annotated Bibliography)

Astrup, A. Eating dark and milk chocolate: a randomized crossover study of effects on appetite and energy intake. U.S. National Library of Medicine. 5 December 2011. Web. 21 January 2016.
The main premise of this experiment was to observe the appetite sensations between dark and milk chocolate in normal, healthy weight men. In general, this source is a step by step explanation of a scientific experiment. The experiment was motivated out of a desire to prove that milk chocolate is in fact unhealthy. In the experiment, 16 young men were selected at random. The meals were either 100g of dark or milk chocolate. Astrup recorded the appetite sensations before and after the experiment in order to determine the effects of the two different types of chocolates. The results from this experiment concluded that the participants felt less hungry and had lower ratings for the desire to eat after the consumption of dark chocolate. Overall, this study evidenced that dark chocolate suppresses energy intake much more than does milk chocolate.

Anonymous. Eating Dark Chocolate may be Good for the Heart. ProQuest. October 2003. Web. 21 January 2016.
This scientific article aims to explain the benefits of dark chocolate consumption for cardiac health. The main factor that would explain this statement is the presence of flavonoids in dark chocolate; the high cocoa content in dark chocolate results in high levels of flavonoids. Flavonoids reduce platelet activation and create a cardiovascular mechanism called the French Paradox, which means that a population has a low rate of cardiorespiratory complications with a high saturated fat diet. In this article, the author references a common experiment in which participants’ blood was tested before and after consumption of a variety of chocolate. Overall, white chocolate did not reduce platelet function and milk chocolate slightly reduced platelet activity, but did not reduce platelet production. Overall, this experiment proves that the consumption of dark chocolate can result in greater cardiac health. In summary, this article will prove to be beneficial in describing how dark chocolate relates to human physiology.

Courage, Katherine. Why is Dark Chocolate Good for You? Thank Your Microbes. Scientific American. 19 March 2014. Web. 21 January 2016.
The purpose of this scientific article is to explain the relationship between dark chocolate and digestion. Initially, Courage explains that the micro-bacteria in our digestive tracts ferment the antioxidants and fiber in cocoa. Overall, this can result in improved vascular function. In order to further explain this idea, Courage introduces an experiment conducted by Louisiana State University professor, John Finely. In this experiment, his students recreated the human digestive system in order to visually observe the effects of cocoa. Before conducting this experiment, Finely was aware that the composition of bacteria varies in each individuals’ digestive tract, so some results could be more beneficial than others. In result, Finely explains that the results of his experiment depicted an increase in their arterial flow, which improved vascular function. Also, Finely noticed that the digestive tracts exposed to cocoa expressed an increase in insulin sensitivity, even if the participant was not diabetic. This could then result in a delay or prevention of being diagnosed with diabetes. Overall, this study is useful when discussing the relationship between the digestive system and dark chocolate.

McClees, Heather. Cacao vs. Cocoa: What You Need to Know. One Green Planet. 15 May 2014. Web. 26 January 2016.
This article focuses on the nutritional and informative facts regarding the difference between cacao and cocoa. Overall, McClees aims to express to the reader that cacao is the purest form of chocolate while cocoa is processed based on the manufacturer’s purpose. The nutritional benefits of cacao are also discussed in order to show that the truest form of chocolate is also the healthiest. In order to do so, McClees compares the origins of each form of chocolate in order to express to the reader that the source of the chocolate determines the health and dietary benefits. This article will be useful in my scientific journal because dark chocolate contains high levels of cacao, which could explain why dark chocolate is linked to a healthier lifestyle.

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