Consumption of chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, may be associated with a reduced risk of depressive symptoms

In July 2019 researchers from the UK, Australia, Austria, Turkey, Spain, China, Italy USA and Canada published the results of their study to assess the association between chocolate consumption and depressive symptoms in US adults. A total of 13,626 adults (aged over 20 years) were involved in the study. Information on daily chocolate consumption was collected via two 24-hour dietary recalls and information on depression via questionnaire. An analysis was then undertaken to assess the association between chocolate consumption (no chocolate, non-dark chocolate, dark chocolate) and amount of chocolate consumption (grams/day) with depressive symptoms. Overall, 11% of the individuals reported some chocolate consumption, with 1% reporting dark chocolate consumption. Results showed that although non-dark chocolate consumption was not significantly associated with depressive symptoms, there was a significantly reduced risk of depressive symptoms amongst those who reported consuming dark chocolate. A further analysis revealed that those who reported consuming 104-454 g/day of chocolate had a 57% reduced risk of depressive symptoms than those who reported no chocolate consumption.

Jackson SE et al. Is there a relationship between chocolate consumption and symptoms of depression? A cross-sectional survey of 13,626 US adults. Depress Anxiety. 2019 Jul 29. [Epub ahead of print]

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