Does eating chocolate make you a serial killer?

November 21, 2012
You may have seen the news item on the BBC website and several other news outlets that suggested that eating chocolate may make you more intelligent!  This originates from a paper by Franz Messerli that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine [1]. He obtained data from several countries on the number of Nobel laureates per-capita and plotted these data in relation to the annual per-capita chocolate consumption.  Why, you ask?  Well, there is limited evidence that dietary flavonoids improve cognitive function and a subgroup of flavonoids known as flavanols are widely present in cocoa, green tea, red wine, and some fruits.

There was a significant linear correlation (r=0.791, P<0.0001) between chocolate consumption and the number of Nobel laureates. The good doctor says, "Switzerland was the top performer in terms of both the number of Nobel laureates and chocolate consumption. The slope of the regression line allows us to estimate that it would take about 0.4 kg of chocolate per-capita per year to increase the number of Nobel laureates in a given country by 1".  His conclusion was that, "Chocolate consumption enhances cognitive function, which is a sine qua non for winning the Nobel Prize, and it closely correlates with the number of Nobel laureates in each country. It remains to be determined whether the consumption of chocolate is the underlying mechanism for the observed association with improved cognitive function".

Now call me a skeptic if you

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This entry was posted on November 21, 2012 at 8:42 pm and is filed under EHS News, Health, John Cherrie, occupational hygiene, OH-world.org



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