Modulation of stress related metabolism
by dark chocolate
Nutritional metabonomics as a tool to assess the
metabolic responses to stress while
classifying dietary responses in healthy individuals
One of the important aspects of nutrition and health today is to determine the biochemical effects of diets and foods on individuals and to discern the mechanisms behind the biological activity of specific dietary components. Metabonomics, in particular, is able to generate multivariate information on a wide range of metabolites thus providing thepossibility to measure subtle changes in biological processes as a result of different nutritional effects. In the present paper wehave summarized recent applications in nutritional metabonomics; measuring the subjects’ metabolic responses attributedto daily dark chocolate consumption, with emphasis on stress-related metabolism. Individuals experiencing higher everydaystress showed a distinct metabolic profile marked by differences in gut microbial, energy and hormonal metabolism. Within two weeks of consumption, dark chocolate had a positive impact on stress-associated metabolism shifting high stress metabolic features towards the levels found in less stress subjects. The observed reduced levels of stress-associated hormonesand normalization of the stress-related metabolic differences suggest that daily consumption of dark chocolate significantly modulated the metabolism of study participants, with potential benefits in improving their metabolic reaction to stress.