A small study links the type of bacteria living in people's digestive system to a desire for chocolate. Everyone has a vast community of microbes in their guts. But people who crave daily chocolate show signs of having different colonies of bacteria than people who are immune to chocolate's allure.
The study appears Friday in the peer-reviewed Journal of Proteome Research. Dr Shock can't reach this article it is not in the library of the University Hospital, tantalizing.
LiveScience has an article about chocolate craving due to bacteria.
In fact, the study was delayed because it took a year for the researchers to find 11 men who don't eat chocolate.
Kochhar compared the blood and urine of those 11 men, who he jokingly called "weird" for their indifference to chocolate, to 11 similar men who ate chocolate daily. They were all healthy, not obese, and were fed the same food for five days.
The researchers examined the byproducts of metabolism in their blood and urine and found that a dozen substances were significantly different between the two groups. For example, the amino acid glycine was higher in chocolate lovers, while taurine (an active ingredient in energy drinks) was higher in people who didn't eat chocolate. Also chocolate lovers had lower levels of the bad cholesterol, LDL. Still to be determined is if the bacteria cause the craving, or if early in life people's diets changed the bacteria, which then reinforced food choices.
There is also a video on chocolates and platelets.