Yay! My Eye Doctor Prescribed Chocolate!


A recent study written up in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Ophthalmology compared the ocular effects of eating a bar of milk chocolate vs. a bar of dark chocolate.  (Where was I when they were looking for subjects to participate in this study?) The results showed that after the subjects ate dark chocolate “small enhancements in visual acuity” were noticed.  Subjects were tested two hours after eating the chocolate but the duration of the increased visual effects past two hours is unknown. Interestingly enough, enhancements in vision were noted after eating the milk chocolate as well, just not as much as after eating the dark chocolate. So what’s the science behind these findings? Researchers think that the flavanols found in dark chocolate help enhance blood flow to the central and peripheral nervous systems, specifically in this case to the retina and macula which contain a lot of blood vessels. There were however some limitations to the study including the size of the study (only thirty subjects), possible knowledge of the type of chocolate ingested based on taste, and lack of clinical relevance to improving vision by eating chocolate. Personally, I’m always willing to eat more chocolate — maybe I’ll conduct my own research….who’s in?


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