Friday, September 18, 2009

Migraines and Cocoa

Sisters and Brothers, who among you gets migraines?

The White Chocolate Acolyte does so your Chocolate Priestess has spent hours worrying about him and trying to keep things dark and quiet to help him out when these strike. Recently I saw some news articles that ask whether or not cocoa might help with migraines. I want us to look at the studies and claims to this point. When more details emerge, I'll return to this topic. If any of the researchers out there is reading this, please, we in The Chocolate Cult would love more details about your work.

First, if you are unsure if you get migraines, check out this website where I got the above photo. It goes into a lot of details about four types of headaches. Personally, something as serious a migraine or frequents headaches would have be going to a doctor. I know that getting to a doctor can prove difficult in some areas but please remember that part of being on this Path is learning to take care of yourself. Honestly are you going to enjoy the Sacred Substance if you have a pounding headache?

Now, what are the claims of these reports about cocoa and migraines?
In animal study, Theobroma cacao may reduce inflammation associated with headaches. This repeats other studies about cocoa in relationship to the heart for the same reasons.

Questions and Facts about this study:
It was conducted on animals not humans. While it is popular to speculate about how observed changes and behavior in animals may play out in humans, you should never accept a substitute study for one that is specifically on humans. Better yet, humans like you in terms of sex, age, and perhaps race or ethnic group. Human beings are complex and different from other animals, even other primates, how we respond may be quite different. I, for one, want more research before I run out and self-medicate.

Is inflammation only associated with migraines? It seems more likely that since migraines are the"worst type of headache" that they are being used in an attempt to garner more publicity about the study in question.

This is not your main stream chocolate. While neither of the mainstream reports are specific as to what form the Theobroma cacao these rats were given came in. I think most of us would find this raw product unbearable.

Finally but certainly not least in importance, the diet these rats were fed was called "rich in cocoa" but what exactly does that mean? 10% of their diet? 25%? 5%

Once again, Sisters and Brothers, I have to urge you to enjoy chocolate for what it is and what it can do for you and not use current medical news and studies to justify using the Sacred Substance. As more studies are done, we may have more reasons to use chocolate and cocoa but I doubt that it will ever become an excuse to chow down on some Hershey bars whenever we feel like it. Be wary of stores, and I've seen some all ready online, using this health claim to promote their products. By jumping on this bandwagon before we have more evidence, I think it is rather clear that those companies are more interested in your wallet than you health.

Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.

Sources about Cocoa and Headaches:
Emax Health
Medical News Today


mavido79 said...

I, too, live with a migraine sufferer. When he was diagnosed about 20 years ago, the doctor worked with him to try and narrow down his "triggers". Interestingly enough, the doctor said chocolate is a very common trigger (though it wasn't for Mate and we never really found his). So now the stuff they said causes migraines 20 years ago is now the stuff they think might cure migraines. Hmmmmm

Looking forward to hearing more about this topic

camelia said...


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TheChocolatePriestess said...

Thanks, Camelia, but are you sure you want The Chocolate Cult there? We don't really do many recipes, most of my posts are reviews, commentary on the news, health and environmental concerns related to chocolate. As the weather cools and I begin baking more, I'll put up recipes but recipes will never be the focus on the website.

The Chocolate Priestess,
TammyJo Eckhart, PhD

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