Eating Chocolate Leads To Depression

Photo: André Karwath (CC)

Photo: André Karwath (CC)

Call me strange, and many have, but I’ve never liked chocolate. I’ve never been seriously depressed, either. Now it appears there may be a link between the two, reported here by the BBC:

People who regularly eat chocolate are more depressive, experts have found. Research in Archives of Internal Medicine shows those who eat at least a bar every week are more glum than those who only eat chocolate now and again.

Many believe chocolate has the power to lift mood, and the US team say this may be true, although scientific proof for this is lacking. But they say they cannot rule out that chocolate may be a cause rather than the cure for being depressed.

In the study, which included nearly 1,000 adults, the more chocolate the men and women consumed the lower their mood. Those who ate the most – more than six regular 28g size bars a month – scored the highest on depression, using a recognised scale. None of the men and women were on antidepressants or had been diagnosed as clinically depressed by a doctor.

‘Mood food’

Dr Natalie Rose and her colleagues from the University of California, San Diego, say there are many possible explanations for their findings, and that these need to be explored. It may simply be that people who are depressed crave chocolate as a “self-treatment” to lift mood, or depression may drive the craving without any beneficial effect.

“Alternatively, analogous with alcohol, there could be short-term benefits of chocolate to mood with longer-term untoward effects,” they told the journal. Chocolate could even be a direct cause of depression, the researchers added…

[continues at the BBC]

, , ,

  • GWF Hegel

    it may not be the case that chocolate causes depression. it may simply be that depressed people eat more chocolate. the article explains this but the disinfo title is misleading.

  • Spooky

    I always thought chocolate released endorphins or had some other chemical reaction in the body to that effect, ie releasing mood lifting chemicals, thus making it more likely for people who are depressed to eat it habitually than those who aren't as a form of self medication. It's also possible that it could be a cause to a degree, like say a person who loves chocolate and eats a lot of it tries to cut back and experiences a drop off in those positive mood altering chemicals, contributing to depression, though admittedly its hardly likely to be the only factor. I like to think chocolate would only play a role where there is already some serious groundwork in place for depression to occur.

  • http://www.brandonconnell.com Brandon Connell

    I eat chocolate now, and again, and then some more, and it doesn't depress me. I believe this study focused more on average people with low financial status. Focus on rich people to even out this study and you might find that chocolate has nothing to do with anything.

  • tonyviner

    And all this time I thought I was depressed because I was fat. Hmmm?

  • tonyviner

    And all this time I thought I was depressed because I was fat. Hmmm?

  • oman28

    It also depends on wether they used 'real' chocolate which is dark and has a somewhat bitter aftertaste or the mass produced shit that is full of sugar. Consuming sugar causes depression.

  • stonoid

    chocolate is a very dangerous and addictive drug, maybe chocolate should be made illegal, -you know it probably would be if it were predominantly used by minorities, -that, and if it had some powerful competition that wanted it gone, maybe “starburst” will join in with Glenn Beck and they'll push to make chocolate illegal that way, -who knows, who cares, -it's all B.S.

  • DeepCough

    It wouldn't surprise me that even chocolate would turn out to be a downer. But, like any drug, the effects are dependent on the dosage and quality. For instance, Ghiradelli has a wide range of different cacao concentrations.

  • RMK

    Very misleading and irresponsible title. That's not at all what the study found. They found a correlation, and correlation does not equal causation.

  • Lynn

    Never really liked chocolate

  • Belcat

    There’s a correlation, but is it because the chocolate causes it, or is it because people that eat chocolate are depressed, and the chocolate momentary lifts them out of that depression and so they want it for that?

  • Belcat

    There's a correlation, but is it because the chocolate causes it, or is it because people that eat chocolate are depressed, and the chocolate momentary lifts them out of that depression and so they want it for that?

  • http://www.wholehealth.com/vitamins-supplements/sam-e Sam-e

    Eating chocolate makes you happy because it contains phenylephylamine – the same hormone the brain triggers when you fall in love. I don’t somehow believe in the post majestic. Being depressed has nothing to do with eating chocolates.