May 11, 2018

Dark Chocolate and Vizion

Good news for dark chocolate lovers. Researchers had 30 healthy adults, averaging 26 years old; eat either a 1.5-ounce Trader Joe's 72 percent Cacao Dark Chocolate bar or a similar-sized Trader Joe's Crispy Rice Milk Chocolate bar. Labels were removed from each bar so participants did not know what type of chocolate they were eating.

About two hours later, each participant underwent vision testing using standard letter-based eye charts. Compared to people who ate the milk chocolate bar, those who snacked on the dark chocolate showed "small enhancements in visual acuity and large-letter contrast" on the vision test, the researchers reported.

Heart-healthy compounds in chocolate called flavanols appeared to sharpen eyesight. The observed change in vision was small, but significant. Prior studies showed that the antioxidant flavanols in dark chocolate might help boost blood flow to the nervous system, boost heart function, and even help preserve the aging brain. The study results were published April 26, 2018 in JAMA Ophthalmology.