Can Eating Chocolate Improve Your Vision?
Most people love chocolate, in pretty much any form; liquids like chocolate milk, added as a flavor to a desert or simply munching it straight. Chocolate is one of those constantly debated foods,” Is it good for you?”, “Is it bad for you?” and while there is no 100% definitive answer as of yet, like all things, chocolate in moderation appears to be just fine. Yet, as a society, we love it so much that we want it to be good for us. It seems that every year a few studies are released that attempt to express the benefits of chocolate.
Recently the Journal of The American Medical Association (JAMA) released a fun study regarding chocolate and vision we thought we’d share. This is easily placed in the ever enjoyable “Science Can Be Fun” category and is worth a read, but first, some important terminology you may or may not be aware of that will be helpful in understanding the study.
Visual Acuity is specific to the visual sharpness of letters and numbers at a distance. This is the standard type of vision test you get with your annual eye exam. For more information on visual acuity, you can read a previous blog article devoted entirely to that term here.
Contrast Sensitivity is a term that relates to how well you can see letters, or shapes, in relation to a background. In this case, imagine a series of letters on a white background that begins with your typical black and then get ever so slightly grayer as the letters progress. What is being shown is where on this scale the letters blend in with the background and hence, determine your contrast sensitivity level.
What the study did was test a person’s Visual Acuity, then their Contrast Sensitivity and then feed them chocolate and test them again. Specifically, they gave folks milk chocolate or dark chocolate and then retested them two hours later.
What the results appear to indicate is that eating dark chocolate does heighten one’s contrast sensitivity over eating milk chocolate, at least in the short term.
It is important to note that the study itself was a small study of only 30 adults and the results are not to be taken as absolute fact but rather a suggestion as to what may be. Further study will need to be done to determine the results.
While this study has not been replicated, it does give another boost to team “Chocolate is good for you”. Go chocolate.
The full study can be found here.