Sunday, May 28, 2006

In Brief: Chocolate, Booze & Cigarettes

Recent reports show chocolate can make you smarter, a drink-a-day works mostly for men and cigarettes are more addictive than we originally thought.

Need a mental boost? Try chocolate.
CNN reported last week on a study that finds substances present in chocolate like theobromine, phenethylamine, and caffeine have "stimulating effects, which then lead to increased mental performance," according to one of the study's authors. What's interesting is that wasn't dark chocolate, but milk chocolate that showed the best results. So does this mean that we should scale back efforts to pull junk food out of elementary schools? I suppose it depends on what you think is worse: expanding waistlines or lower test scores.

More good news for men who drink daily
Results of a Danish study show that men who have a drink daily "had a 41 percent reduced risk of coronary heart disease,"
reports the BBC. Men who only indulged in a single drink per week showed just a 7 percent drop in their risk for coronary heard disease. For women, it doesn't matter if you drink weekly or daily. According to the BBC report, " In women, the risk of heart disease fell by a third with a weekly drink but did not fall further in daily drinkers." But the challenge still remains: can you stop at just one drink? Good luck.

Cigarettes: The story gets worse every day
One of TIME's health blogs, The Daily Prescription, is reporting on a new study which finds that, "the residual effect of smoking a single cigarette for the first time could last for as long as three years." Then it goes on to suggest, " Teachers, health professionals, parents and other adults might help kids from becoming smokers by trying even harder to keep them from that first cigarette." But will that do any good? Doesn't that just make the forbidden fruit look even sweeter? Why not try saying, "go ahead and smoke, kid, but then you [enter favorite smoking-is-the-dumbest-habit-you-could-pick-up fact here]."


jatico said...

Great post, I read ealier in the year that caffine showed imporved mental capacities. Yea!

pound360 said...

Yes, I love hearing about the benefits of guilty pleasures like wine and chocolate... now if I can only stop at one or two servings!

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.