Consumption of chocolate along with zinc could help humans live longer, according to a report published on November 5, 2018.
This study was conducted by the researchers at the University of Erlangen in Nuremberg and Auburn University in Alabama. The consumption of chocolates along with zinc supplements leads to activation of a compound, which helps to slow down ageing. This combination will help in lengthening life by protecting against naturally-occurring ‘oxidative stress’, a gas that leads to ageing and other illnesses such as cancer, inflammation or degenerative diseases.
The researchers of the study combined zinc and antioxidant polyphenols, which are present in chocolates, tea or coffee in the lab experiments to study the effects of these. Polyphenols on its own cannot break down oxidative stress. However, polyphenols when combined with zinc leads to the formation of a complex enzyme. This enzyme is capable of protecting the body from the damaging waste gas that occurs as a by-product of cell. The resulting compound is similar to the naturally-occurring superoxide dismutase enzyme (SOD), which also destroys the gas and protects the body.
Researchers, for the first time, have been able to mimic the effects of the enzyme. Earlier attempts were a failure, as metals such as iron or copper could increase ‘oxidative stress’. Less toxicity of zinc when compared to other metals makes it more effective over other metals. Dr. Ivana Ivanović-Burmazović, lead author said, “It is certainly possible that wine, coffee tea or chocolate may well be available in future with added zinc.” However, in case of wine, it should be non-alcoholic, any alcohol content would destroy the positive effects of this combination.