The health benefits of eating dark chocolate have been extolled for centuries, but the exact reason has remained a mystery — until now. Researchers have just reported that certain bacteria in the stomach gobble the chocolate and ferment it into anti-inflammatory compounds that are good for the heart. Their findings were unveiled at the 247th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.
“We found that there are two kinds of microbes in the gut: the ‘good’ ones and the ‘bad’ ones,” explained Maria Moore, an undergraduate student and one of the study’s researchers. “The good microbes, such as Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria, feast on chocolate,” she said. “When you eat dark chocolate, they grow and ferment it, producing compounds that are anti-inflammatory.” Click To Keep Reading