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Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

  • Natalija Miller

Get Your Daily Dose of Delicious chocolate: The Darker, The Better!

It has been reported that there are certain types of bacteria located within the human stomach that will actually ferment delicious chocolate into heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory materials. In the 247th National Assembly & Exposition of the North american Chemical Society, managed at the Dallas Convention Centre this last March, this bottom line was attracted and offered. Maria Moore - who's amazingly enough, an undergraduate university student working on this research - mentioned that two different types of microbes live within someone's stomach. You will find good ones like "Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria", which help to break down the chocolates, and then there's the not so great ones such as some types of Clostridia and E. coli, which were known to not only produce inflammation, but also to probably cause "gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation". She notes that, "When you eat dark chocolate, they [the good microbes] grow and ferment it, producing compounds that are anti-inflammatory". These research workers from Louisiana Status University, led by John Finley, Ph. D. , are the first to be performing a study about dark chocolate's results on the multiple bacteria that reside within the belly. It had been said that whenever the materials are ingested, they effectively decrease the possibility of an stroke in later years by lessening cardiovascular structure inflammation. By screening a complete of 3 different kinds of cocoa powder in a mock digestive tract composed of "modified test tubes" used to imitate normal digestion, these analysts, "subjected the non-digestible materials to anaerobic fermentation using real human fecal bacteria". The main ingredient in chocolate, - the matter that makes chocolate, chocolate - cocoa powder, contains a good amount of polyphenolic chemical substances (antioxidants) - catechin and epicatechin being two visible samples - and dietary fiber in a comparatively small amount, both which are "poorly digested and absorbed". Finley then discussed that, "In our study we found that the fiber is fermented and the top polyphenolic polymers are metabolized to smaller molecules, which are easier absorbed. These smaller polymers exhibit anti-inflammatory activity". Also, polyphenols found in the stomach may be altered or transformed to reduce inflammation by signing up for together prebiotics and cocoa powder fibers, increasing one's overall health. Prebiotics can be explained as complex carbohydrates that can't be broken down and digested, however the good bacteria in the tummy like to "eat" them. Finley then continued to state that, "While you ingest prebiotics, the beneficial gut microbial inhabitants rises and outcompetes any unwanted microbes in the gut, like the ones that cause tummy problems". This information ended with an email on how dark chocolate could prove to be even more beneficial if coupled with things such as pomegranate, acai berry or other sound fruits (North american Chemical World, 2014).

As much as how this idea pertains to the things that we have talked about in class recently, we may need to dive just a little deeper in to the process than this informative article goes. Because we have yet to really learn anything about physio-chemistry - which is in which a vast majority of the ideas apply - we will have to discuss in rather basic terms. Since the class is termed, "General Chemistry", it could seem sensible to do that. First things first, we must consider a laboratory that was done alternatively in early stages in the year. While speaking about solubility in course, a lab was done when a certain solution was suspended in a test tube, coupled with another solution and then warmed until a solid was produced. This technique produced something called a 'precipitate'. Precipitate is define in the dictionary as, "to cause (something sturdy) to become segregated from a water especially by a chemical process" (discussing the task) or just as a "a material precipitated from a remedy" (the stable itself) (Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, n. d. ). The other theory worth taking note of is thermodynamics. We have talked about Gibbs Free Energy in category these past couple of weeks. This too performs a role.

A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson, the compilers of Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"), make reference to a process called Ostwald Ripening - an activity where small, solid allergens in a liquid mixture are taken out of solution, as the dissolved varieties residing externally of those bigger particles experience redeposition. This technique is one of the key underlying contributors to digestive function. Food gets into the abdominal - which is suspended (allowing the effects of gravity) - put in a solution of hydrochloric acidity, potassium chloride, and sodium chloride (gastric acidity) (Stewart, 1981), warmed by the body, and then, through Ostwald Ripening, the food comes out as a more substantial, "purer/solution" (American Chemical Culture, 2014), precipitated element. Among the reasons why this process goes over so smoothly is basically because, "smaller debris have an increased surface energy, hence higher total Gibbs energy, than much larger particles, giving go up to an obvious higher solubility" (McNaught & Wilkinson, 1997).

These concepts are essential to take note of, with respect to the article about how exactly great dark-chocolate is ideal for a person's overall health, because in order to understand how the chocolate is broken down and absorbed, there has to be a groundwork for the way the process works generally. Knowing that the compound will dissociate in the stomach and the essentials for that operation, will start a better groundwork for you to definitely apprehend what this article was stating. The researchers figured chocolate has two improperly digested materials. Following the brief dialogue on what digestion is, it can established that delicious chocolate has certain chemicals that can't be precipitated. What then does indeed your body do using what it cannot process, or breakdown? Well, the solution according to the article is that they are "eaten", fermented, metabolized and then consumed by bacteria. Regarding cocoa powder, the products of this process have anti-inflammatory properties and can decrease the risk of stroke and abdomen problems (North american Chemical Culture, 2014).

Even though all the information on digestion was not included in this article, I thought what they does include was sufficiently put together, but in my own thoughts and opinions, to anyone who isn't already knowledgeable about the topic in at least some capacity, would walk away from this article thinking only, "Fairly sweet, dark-chocolate is good for me. I should eat more from it. " While this article is not necessarily promoting such action, it isn't opposing it either. The info, however, appears to be geared towards those who do, in simple fact, own an already established groundwork for this type of material. I thought that this article was very reader-friendly and attempted to give anyone inquisitive enough to read about it a simple overview of the study, but I got ultimately left questioning more than I had been before reading it.

Because of what I've learned all about thermodynamics, solubility and precipitation, I must wonder a couple of things. For instance, just how do good bacteria "eat" away the complicated carbohydrates and fiber and then ferment it? May be the process drastically different than digestion? What sort of heat is necessary for that reaction to arise? I am interested in how, by the end of each process - both digestive function and fermentation/metabolization - nutrition from the compound eaten are utilized. How is the procedure of incidents different for each and every reaction? I have to ponder how these substances have anti-inflammatory properties after absorption. What do those bacterium do to the dark-chocolate's components, and finally, why isn't the bacterias digested or fermented? Is there to do with what reactions arise within the stomach? That would my best guess.

These are all questions which i ask myself now because standard chemistry has taught me a lot about reactions, what will react, what won't and in what capacity. Because of that, I am remaining wondering more about what it is exactly that is going on in my abdominal, not only once I eat dark-chocolate, but any time I put food in my mouth. So how exactly does our body learn how to process particular foods? This idea is very interesting, and I have general chemistry to thank with the.

Works Cited

American Chemical Population. Press Room. (2014, March 18). The complete reason for medical benefits of chocolates: mystery fixed. Retrieved May 29, 2014, from http://www. acs. org/content/acs/en/pressroom/newsreleases/2014/march/the-precise-reason-for-the-health-benefits-of-dark-chocolate-mystery-solved. html

McNaught, A. D. , & Wilkinson, A. (1997). Ostwald ripening. Compendium of Substance Terminology (the "Silver Booklet"). Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications.

precipitate. n. d. , In Merriam-Webster. com.

Retrieved May 29, 2014, from http://www. merriam-webster. com/dictionary/precipitate

Stewart, P. A. (1981). Section 1: 1. 5 Other FLUIDS. How to understand acid-base: a quantitative acid-base primer for biology and medicine. NY: Elsevier.

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