Sweet surprise! Chocolate may help you LOSE weight, boost your brain and protect it from age-related decline

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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  • An alkaloid called theobromine, found in cocoa,  has potential health benefits

Good news for those bingeing on Easter eggs – chocolate may help you lose weight.

It could also boost your brain and protect it from age-related cognitive decline.

Scientists say a chemical called theobromine, found in cocoa beans and abundant in milk and dark chocolate, has a range of potential health benefits.

They believe it is an underappreciated natural elixir with anti-inflammatory properties that could be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

While the calories in an Easter egg probably outweigh any slimming benefits, theobromine was found to contribute to weight management by enhancing the body’s ability to break down fats.

In some good news for those who have indulged in Easter eggs, chocolate could help you lose weight and protect your brain from cognitive decline

The researchers, from Zhengzhou University in China, said it also has protective effects on the kidneys, potentially preventing the formation of kidney stones and reducing fluid retention in the tissues.

After scoffing some chocolate, theobromine – a bitter-tasting alkaloid – quickly spreads throughout the body.

It can penetrate the blood-brain barrier and act as an adenosine receptor antagonist, potentially boosting mood and enhancing cognitive function. 

With antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it may also protect against dementia and other neurological conditions.

The study, published in the Journal of Functional Foods, even suggests it could be used to treat brain diseases such as stroke, depression and Alzheimer’s. 

A bitter tasting alkaloid called theobromine, found in cocoa beans and abundant in milk and dark chocolate, has a range of potential health benefits, scientists say

A bitter tasting alkaloid called theobromine, found in cocoa beans and abundant in milk and dark chocolate, has a range of potential health benefits, scientists say

The researchers wrote: ‘Theobromine showcases neuro-protective attributes, enhances cognitive function and holds promise in mitigating age‑related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disorders.

‘In daily life, theobromine can be used as a health supplement to help regulate immune function, promote fat metabolism and maintain cardiovascular health. 

‘It can also be utilised for the development of obesity treatment drugs or formulations due to its anti-obesity effects.’

The researchers added theobromine could be combined with other drugs to form a powerful treatment against a variety of illnesses.

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