When it comes to â€œhot fields of scientific researchâ€, obviously desis are at the forefront of discovery and innovation; thatâ€™s not chauvinism, thatâ€™s just logic. Millions of brown people exist and a solid chunk of them are in science, so the odds are just stacked in our favor. But I digress. And thereâ€™s exciting stuff regarding Proteome Research to get to, so let’s get back on topic! [Via MSNBC]:
A small study links the type of bacteria living in peopleâ€™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 chocolateâ€™s allure.
That may be the case for other foods, too. The idea could eventually lead to treating some types of obesity by changing the composition of the trillions of bacteria occupying the intestines and stomach, said Sunil Kochhar, co-author of the study. It appears Friday in the peer-reviewed Journal of Proteome Research.
This study isn’t biased at all:
Kochhar is in charge of metabolism research at the Nestle Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland. The food conglomerate Nestle SA paid for the study. But this isnâ€™t part of an effort to convert a few to the dark (or even milk) side of cocoa, Kocchar said.
Hereâ€™s my favorite part of the study:
In fact, the study was delayed because it took a year for the researchers to find 11 men who donâ€™t eat chocolate.
BWAH! In your face, people who think chocolate craving = pre-menstrual misery and weakness. MEN! They couldnâ€™t find eleven MEN who donâ€™t indulge.
Kochhar compared the blood and urine of those 11 men, who he jokingly called â€œweirdâ€ 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 didnâ€™t eat chocolate. Also chocolate lovers had lower levels of the bad cholesterol, LDL.
That does it. I’m having red wine and Cadbury for dinner tonight. What to do? It’s the healthy choice.
The levels of several of the specific substances that were different in the two groups are known to be linked to different types of bacteria, Kochhar said.
Theyâ€™re still not sure if itâ€™s the bacteria that wants to be startin something, gots to be startin something or if diet affected the bacteria blah blah chicken egg.
How gut bacteria affect people is a hot field of scientific research.
I think my tummy is always warm, but that is based on highly unscientific rubbing of it, while attempting to pat my head simultaneously.
Wots this? A reference to my bellowed alma mater? GO AGS!
â€¦Kochharâ€™s research makes so much sense that people should have thought of it earlier, said J. Bruce German, professor of food chemistry at the University of California Davis. While five outside scientists thought the study was intriguing, Dr. Richard Bergman at the University of Southern California School of Medicine, had concerns about the accuracy of the initial division of the men into groups that wanted chocolate or were indifferent to it.
What matters to Kochhar is where the research could lead.
Kochhar said the relationship between food, people and what grows in their gut is important for the future: â€œIf we understand the relationship, then we can find ways to nudge it in the right direction.â€
You can nudge me right in the direction of some hot cocoa on this oddly autumnal day; apparently we had a 40 degree temperature drop in a scant 48 hours, at some point this week (Can I get a hearty WTF? Or was this orchestrated in conjunction with the Nobel committee, to make us all think of global warming while Gore gets his props?).
Iâ€™m so not used to being cold. Right now, Iâ€™m wearing a turtleneck sweater with a thinsulate vest over it; I was wearing a sleeveless dress on Monday! Also, I am taking little breaks while I type this to nibble on a chocolate chip cookie. Apposite, nah? Admit it, you total want one, too. Awww, donâ€™t feel bad…itâ€™s not your fault. Thanks to Sunil, now you are aware of your status as an innocent captive to your gutsy bacteria. Blame the glycine– it gots to be startin’ something!