Typical chocolate bars are loaded with too much sugar but scientists have developed a guilt-free chocolate that offers a number of benefits.
Developed based on research from Cambridge University, Esthechoc, dubbed as the world's first beauty chocolate, claims to slow down the emergence of aging signs such as wrinkles and sagging skin.
Scientists who developed it say that the chocolate, also called Cambridge Beauty Chocolate, boosts antioxidant levels and circulation to prevent lines and keep a person's skin young and smooth.
A 7.5g of the product has the same amount of the antioxidant astaxanthin present in a 300g of wild salmon and cocoa flavanols in a 100g dark chocolate. The scientists behind the product, which is based on 70 percent Cocoa dark chocolate, have likewise shown that Esthechoc has superior efficacy compared with existing leading dark chocolates and food supplement products.
In clinical trials involving volunteers between 50 to 60 years old, those who ate the chocolate everyday for three to four weeks showed less evidence of inflammation in their blood. They also exhibit increased blood supply to their skin tissue.
"We saw that inflammation in the skin starting to go down and the tissues began to benefit," said Ivan Petyaev, former researcher at Cambridge University and inventor of the technologies who founded Lycotec, the company behind the beauty chocolate. "We used people in their 50s and 60s and in terms of skin biomarkers we found it had brought skin back to the levels of a 20 or 30 year old. So we've improved the skin's physiology."
Petyaev added that the people who tried the chocolate said that their skin was better and they could see that it works to slow down ageing. The chocolate likewise contains only 38 calories so it is less fattening compared with regular chocolate bars and this means that it can be eaten guilt fee and is safe for consumption by people with diabetes.
Despite promising results of clinical trials, some experts call for more evidence of the product's efficacy. Professor of Metabolic Medicine Naveed Sattar, from Glasgow University, said that more clinical trials are still needed in order to prove the strong claims of the company.
The product will be presented at the Global Food Innovation Summit in London next month during which its makers will reveal its cost. It is likely though that this one of a kind chocolate will come with a hefty price tag.