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Many of the old myths about chocolate and health are crumbling under the weight of scientific fact The once-prevalent belief that something that tastes so good just cannot be good for you has given way to a more balanced picture of chocolate and cocoa products and their relation to health and nutrition The following are brief reviews on recent findings which counter several of the common misinterpretations of the effects of chocolate on health Chocolate and Acne Over the past two decades research has revealed that chocolate neither causes nor aggravates acne Acne a condition resulting from the extreme activity of the skins oil glands during puberty is not linked primarily to diet In research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Department of Dermatology a control group was given a bar with no chocolate which resembled a chocolate bar and had 28 percent vegetable fat to imitate the fat content of chocolate liquor and cocoa butter A similar group was given real chocolate but the test bars contained almost 10 times as much chocolate liquor as a normal 14 ounce chocolate bar At the end of the test the average acne condition of the persons in the group eating chocolate was almost the same as those who had no chocolate A group of 80 midshipmen at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland all of whom had acne conditions ranging from mild to moderate were divided into groups both experiencing the same living dining and physical activities One group avoided all chocolate for four weeks the other included a minimum of three bars in their daily diet After four weeks the groups exchanged eating patterns Clinical observations facial overlays and photographs showed no significant changes in the acne conditions in either group Chocolate and Caffeine The amount of caffeine ingested when people eat chocolate in normal quantities is very small 14 ounces of milk chocolate for example contains about 6 milligrams of
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