Chocolate lovers across the globe have another reason why they should eat more of their favourite treat. Scientists in the United Kingdom have come up with a guilt-free chocolate that is said to have the capability to prevent wrinkles and sagging skin.
Researchers from Lycotec, a laboratory affiliated with Cambridge University, created Esthechoc. This chocolate claims to boost one’s antioxidant levels and increase circulation to prevent lines and keep skin looking smooth and youthful. A small 7.5 gram bar of the chocolate reportedly contains the same amount of the antioxidant astaxanthin found in a fillet of Alaskan salmon. It also has the same levels of free radical-fighting cocoa polyphenols as 100g of dark chocolate.
And that’s not the even best part. According to the researchers, Esthechoc can change the underlying skin of a 50 to 60-year-old into that of someone in their 20s or 30s. Tests on 400 volunteers revealed evidence of increased blood supply to skin tissue and less inflammation after they ate the chocolate daily for four weeks.
“We’re using the same antioxidant that keeps goldfish gold and flamingos pink. In clinical trials we saw that inflammation in the skin starting to go down and the tissues began to benefit. We used people in their 50s and 60s and in terms of skin biomarkers we found it had brought skin back to the levels of a 20 or 30-year-old. So we’ve improved the skin’s physiology,” said Dr Ivan Petyaev, a former Cambridge University and the founder of Lycotec.
Aside from helping slow down the ageing process, Esthechoc, which is also called Cambridge Beauty Chocolate, is also safe for those with diabetes. Each bar of the confectionary contains only 38 calories. Esthechoc comes boxed as a three-week supply and individually wrapped. They will be available at high-end stores starting next month. It is also possible that the chocolate will be sold with a hefty price tag.
Despite the claims of the chocolate makers, some health experts are wary about Esthechoc’s health benefits. Naveed Sattar, a professor of metabolic medicine at Glasgow University, believes that “robust clinical trials” are still needed to ensure that the chocolate is really good for the skin. He also warned that eating too much of the chocolate could also lead to obesity.
Dr George Grimble, a nutritionist at University College London, agreed. He said that while the chocolate Esthechoc “seems promising,” it still requires more clinical trials.