Help Me Sing It, Ma Ma Se, Ma Ma Sa, Ma Ma Coo Sa

sooo much chocolate.jpg

When it comes to “hot fields of scientific research”, obviously desis are at the forefront of discovery and innovation; that’s not chauvinism, that’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 there’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 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.
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 isn’t part of an effort to convert a few to the dark (or even milk) side of cocoa, Kocchar said.

Here’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 don’t eat chocolate.

BWAH! In your face, people who think chocolate craving = pre-menstrual misery and weakness. MEN! They couldn’t find eleven MEN who don’t indulge.

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.

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.

They’re still not sure if it’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!

…Kochhar’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: “If we understand the relationship, then we can find ways to nudge it in the right direction.”

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?).

I’m so not used to being cold. Right now, I’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, don’t feel bad…it’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!

28 thoughts on “Help Me Sing It, Ma Ma Se, Ma Ma Sa, Ma Ma Coo Sa

  1. I love dark chocolate. Who are those 11 men? And yeah, there seems to be no conflict-of-interest whatsoever in this study (just like many others). After all, a scientist was involved. ;)

  2. When it comes to “hot fields of scientific research”, obviously desis are at the forefront of discovery and innovation; that’s not chauvinism, that’s just logic.

    Really? When was the last time a desi won a Nobel Prize in the sciences?

  3. Really? When was the last time a desi won a Nobel Prize in the sciences?

    It’s…filed…under…humor.

    And it’s Friday.

    And Indians like sex! Be happy!

  4. Really? When was the last time a desi won a Nobel Prize in the sciences?

    Apparently we suck at humor.

    And I am one of those 11 men, well unless the candy starts to taunt me.

  5. I love dark chocolates. In fact I love anything chocolate. Give me some nice thick cake dripping in ganache and I become a happy camper.

  6. i am not a fan of chocolate, but i am not averse either. no cravings, no detesting. don’t know if i would qualify for one of the 11—i think they probably wanted ones who detest it.

    i know of one friend (woman) who hates chocolate though :) .

  7. i know of one friend (woman) who hates chocolate though :) .

    My mother will be elated to know she’s not the only one. ;)

  8. That explains it! I must have passed on the bacteria to my kids, since they have choc chip waffles for breakfast, Nutella sandwiches for lunch with choc milk, Cocoa puffs for snack and choc ice cream for dessert! Seriously, what is better than a croissant with Nutella?

  9. monimoni – i am jealous of your kids! (but… you are exaggerating, right? that’s a lot of sugar!)

  10. hey monimoni… it’s really good and super easy just toast the bagel spackle the nutella and slap on the bananas,.. voila!! can you imagine i paid something like $5 for that in a cafe in sfo when i could’ve easily done it at home??

  11. Well, exaggerating a little bit Nala, but what can I say, they like their chocolate and are skinny minnies so all I can hope for is low LDL and happy bacteria. Besides, its an excuse to have Cocoa Puffs in the house, if you know what I mean!

  12. In your face… Hee.

    I love dark chocolate. Who are those 11 men? I am those 11 men.

    And now I have that song in my head.

  13. Finally, my profession gets the respect it deserves. I interned at Nestle in Lausanne.

    Nestle does a fantastic job of making the frivolous look important. They have million dollar pieces of equipment to analyze milk powder, coffee beans and cotton candy among other things. They paid for my graduate degree. No hate here.

  14. mars finds 24 women to prove that flavonoids in chocolate build immunity against cancer. nestle finds 22 men to prove that eating chocolate might help fight obesity.

    what next?

    hershey’s shows that eating small drops of chocolate might improve the quality of your kisses? ruffles shows that a pack of lays can… well, you can figure that out.

  15. Very interesting. Although I’m not sure tying a Michael Jackson (?) song to chocolate makes a lot of sense. :-) I don’t have a big sweet tooth but put some GOOD chocolate in front of me and I’m a goner!

    They (some Dutch scientists) released a study on women’s emotions which inspired me to do a post on Reading a Woman’s Mind and surprise, surprise they discovered that more women preferred chocolate than apples.

  16. Really? When was the last time a desi won a Nobel Prize in the sciences?

    It’s true desis haven’t been getting Nobel Prizes in the sciences, but the Peace Prize that went to Al Gore was shared with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is headed by Dr. Rajendra “Comb-over” Pachauri. The dude’s got terrible hair, but his scientific acumen is formidable. We’ve also got Amartya Sen in economics, which is scientific-ish.

  17. Aruni,

    They’re still not sure if it’s the bacteria that wants to be startin something, gots to be startin something or if diet affected the bacteria

    There’s your MJ ref. I wasn’t trying to tie anything (or make sense), especially on a Friday. As a chocolate-lower, I couldn’t let a story like this with a solid brown angle go to waste. ;)

    And now I have that song in my head.

    I’ve had the song in my head since I wrote this. I would’ve enjoyed Michael a hell of a lot more back in the day, if I had known he was going to turn out to be batshit-crazy and a terrible artist, in his later years.

  18. ummm, monimoni is not exaggerating at all. her kids eat a ton of sugar, and they are all skinny, like her.

    which is one reason i moved far away from her. my son has my “look at sugar/choklate and watch your thighs get fat” gene. now, he’s rocking the “starved indian” look.

    hey sista, back from vacay. call me!

  19. If Nestle, Hershey’s, Lindt, Godiva, Ghirardeli (or any other company that specializes in chocolate) would like to conduct more experiments proving that chocolate is just as good as brocolli in fighting heart disease, cancer etc, please inform me at once. I need to excuse myself since I need my daily chocolate fix.