By Erin Hicks, Everyday Health
Another reason to eat more chocolate: It could keep you from coughing, according to doctors at the British National Health Service who presented their research at the British Thoracic Society’s winter meeting in London last week.
In their study, about 300 people at 13 hospitals who had persistent coughs were given the chemical theobromine, which is derived from cocoa, twice a day for 14 days, according to the Daily Mail. Early results showed that 60 percent of patients experienced some cough relief after taking the cocoa-based treatment.
The dosage of theobromine used in the trial was 1,000 mg. Unsweetened dark chocolate has about 450 mg of theobromine per ounce, sweet dark chocolate has about 150 mg, and milk chocolate has about 60mg, according to the Daily Mail.
While a daily bar of dark chocolate may contain enough theobromine to have an effect on a chronic cough, researcher said, cough symptoms returned in patients who were treated in the study once theobromine treatment ended.
Another study, done at the National Heart and Lung Institute in London, showed that theobromine can block the action of the sensory nerves, which halts the cough reflex. That study found theobromine to be more effective than codeine, which is widely used to treat chronic cough.
Researchers warned, however, that just because chocolate might have a clinical application doesn’t exempt it from unwanted side effects.
“Eating a bar of dark chocolate a day which has high levels of the compound may also be effective for people with diagnosed persistent cough, although eating chocolate on a daily basis may have other unwanted effects, including weight gain and so on,” said study leader Alyn Morice, MD, head of the Hull Cough Clinic in Britain, in the Daily Mail.
This article was written by Erin Hicks and published by Everyday Health.