Are You A Chocoholic?

17-Oct-2007 by

Human Metabolics Creates Chocoholics

I often hear people say I am a Chocoholic.  I often wonder about this craving that people talk bout, as neither Steve nor I particularily like chcolate.  On rare oacssions we'll share a pieces of really good chcolate on a flight or at the Fancy Food Shows, but we never buy it and have around the house.


I know many people really get these chocolate cravings. I was recently reading an article that it might be a function of your metabolism, according to a new study, “Human Metabolic Phenotypes Link Directly to Specific Dietary Preferences in Healthy Individuals” (Rezzi, et al, Journal of Proteome Research, ASAP Article 10.1021/pr070431h S1535-3893(07)00431-9).

The study, by Swiss and British scientists, has connected the preference for chocolate to a specific, chemical signature that might be programmed into the metabolic system and is detectable by laboratory tests.

This discovery adds credence to a rapidly emerging discipline that could classify individuals based on their metabolic type, or metabotype. Metabolic status and food preferences can vary from person to person and even between different cultures.

 Proteome research, which focuses on characterizing the structure and function of the complete set of proteins produced by our genes, has allowed scientists to identify metabolic changes that occur when foods are digested. This could lead to methods to design healthier diets based on each individual’s needs.

Researchers studied 11 male volunteers who classified themselves as “chocolate desiring” and 11 volunteers who considered themselves “chocolate indifferent” in a controlled clinical study. Each subject ate chocolate or placebo over five days and had their blood and urine samples analyzed via using 1H NMR spectroscopy.

 The chocolate lovers exhibited a hallmark metabolic profile that involved low levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, “bad”) cholesterol and slightly elevated levels of albumin, a beneficial protein, whether or not they ate the chocolate samples.

The researchers also found the behaviors and/or interactions of the gut microbes in the chocolate lovers were different from the other subjects, leading to a difference in the microbes’ functionality.

“Our study shows that food preferences, including chocolate, might be programmed or imprinted into our metabolic system in such a way that the body becomes attuned to a particular diet,” says Kochhar, study researcher and scientist with Nestlé Research Center in Switzerland.

“We know that some people can eat a diet that is high in steak and carbs and generally remain healthy, while the same food in others is unhealthy. Knowing one’s metabolic profile could open the door to dietary or nutritional interventions that are customized to your type, so that your metabolism can be nudged to a healthier status.”

This approach can be applied to any population or diet, not just chocolate, and might lead to tests for determining a person’s metabolic type that could be performed as part of a blood or urine test during a regular visit to the doctor, Kochhar predicts. But, he notes, a reliable test of this type may be five years away, as more research is needed in this area.

I wonder if they will also find that those who do not crave sugar fall into a different metabolic group as well.  Sugar gives me the shutters if eaten on an empty stomach, and even after a meal a little goes a very long way.

I know in much of Asia pople don't like chocolate saying it is too sweet.

Chocolate Consumption by coutry (pounds per person per year)

1. Switzerland 22.36
2. Austria 20.13
3. Ireland 19.47
4. Germany 18.04
5. Norway 17.93

11. United States  11.64


Ganesh Dutta profile page

Ganesh Dutta says :

superb blog and mouthwatering pictures!
Posted on: 18 October 2007 - 5:26am
moodyfoody profile page

moodyfoody says :

Chocolate mouthwatering uhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa .......
Posted on: 18 October 2007 - 8:00am
Snigdha profile page

Snigdha says :

Great pictures. I do not like too much of chocolate and don't store any at home. The more I look at the chocs in the pantry the more averse I get towards them, But when I go out for an ice cream or gelato or may be cheesecake or piece of any cake, more often than not, I prefer chocolaty ones ;)
Posted on: 18 October 2007 - 1:09pm
shantihhh profile page

shantihhh says :

I don't mind white chocolate. Once in awhile I will indulge in a chocolate something, but only a couple of bites as it so rich and sweet. Now French cheeses I could eat endlessly but not any more. I use to eat so much cheese-far too much. Shanti/Mary-Anne
Posted on: 18 October 2007 - 3:29pm
Hyde Ray profile page

Hyde Ray says :

cool pics!
Posted on: 19 October 2007 - 4:42am
The Tortilla Guy profile page

The Tortilla Guy says :

My Name is Steve and I am a CHOCOHALIC - here is some great chocolates that are made out your way !! The Tortilla Guy
Posted on: 19 October 2007 - 1:11pm
shantihhh profile page

shantihhh says :

Steve They are works of heart. And one, only one is a great treat! These are made locally about 15 minutes from me in Oakland. LOL I do like their ancho chile-chocolate. Hey Steve you got to walk those chocolates off! Shanti/Mary-Anne
Posted on: 19 October 2007 - 4:05pm

Wapite says :

very nice I love chocolat
Posted on: 21 October 2007 - 5:41pm
Good Cook profile page

Good Cook says :

Nice blog and the great chocolate photos too!
Posted on: 25 October 2007 - 11:23pm
Moopsee profile page

Moopsee says :

Excellent Article -- very much appreciated! I'm such a devoted chocoholic that the purchased hot choco mixes are too mild -- I've taken to even making my own with less sugar and more cocoa. Loved the details from the article rather than just referencing it. Thanks for sharing!
Posted on: 31 October 2007 - 12:10am
startcooking profile page

startcooking says :

Oh you are just awful posting all these mouthwatering photos while I'm trying to loose a few pounds before the holidays! :) Then again, after reading this post I feel like I just ate dessert! Thanks!
Posted on: 31 October 2007 - 8:16pm
shantihhh profile page

shantihhh says :

I like the Dutch Cocoa that Trader Joe's sells really great. Shanti/Mary-Anne
Posted on: 31 October 2007 - 8:45pm
info profile page

info says :

Mmmmmm....The crepe with ice cream is yummy. I love chocolate Good article and great pictures.
Posted on: 18 February 2008 - 7:23pm