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Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.
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Depression? Stress? How Sweet they Are? A Dissertation on Dark Chocolate

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. Updated: Nov 22nd 2009

dark chocolate bar"OK, Dr. Schwartz, now we know for sure that you have lost it." I can almost hear some of my readers either saying or thinking some like this. No, I am not a mind reader but, perhaps that is what I would think. Anyway, there is some reasoning behind this post.

At the outset, let me state that I am not a research scientist. Yet, I intend to do some research. Let me explain.

Research scientists published an article in the Journal of Proteome Research about their findings that eating an  ounce and one half of dark chocolate per day may reduce feelings of stress. It seems that the anti oxidants and other substances found in dark chocolate reduces stress hormones that can be stored in the body and have a negative impact on mood and bring about high blood pressure and heart disease. According to the findings, the levels of stress hormones are reduced in two weeks. These were the results gathered from volunteers who reported hight levels of stress and remained on the daily intake of dark chocolate for two weeks.


Now, I don't know about you and I don't know how accurate these results are nor how carefully controlled there experiments were conducted, but, I decided to follow my own research on this extremely important subject!!

So, no sooner had I read the study than I went out and purchased several bars of dark chocolate. I noticed that my family was not at all reluctant to join in this "experiment" of mine. "After all," we all reasoned, "what could possibly be offensive about such an investigation." We all agreed that this is "very hard work," but some of us had to do it!!!

Remember how difficult it can be to remember to take your medication? Remember how difficult it can be to remember to call the pharmacy to renew your prescriptions? None of us are experiencing any of these difficulties. Curious, huh?

The only possible downside to the experiment is that weight can be gained and that can become stressful. However, other researchers report that dark chocolate causes people to feel very full and, therefore, eat less because their appetite is lowered. The only real problem is with this is to stay with the recommended dose of chocolate and refrain from eating than is recommended.

Well, who am I to argue with science? If the dark chocolate reduces my stress, great. If it does not, it's fun trying and fun is supposed to reduce stress. So, from my personal point of view, this is a win-win situation.

In no way am I suggesting that you, the reader, engage in this type of "risky behavior," but, should you want to try, please remember that it must be Dark Chocolate and no more that an ounce and one half per day.

Caution 1: I cannot predict the risks of going above and beyond the recommended dosage. I can only relate to you that my experience of going beyond one and one half dose is to experience even more happiness.

Caution 2: Please do not throw away your anti depressants. We are a long ways from being able to say that there is anything curative in this.

Ah, reseach is so hard and science demands such self sacrifice!!! What is a person to do???

Your comments are welcome, do not have to be serious and and your jokes are always encouraged.

Allan N. Schwartz, PhD.






Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D.

Readers who live in the Boulder, Colorado metro area, or in Southwest Florida may contact Dr. Schwartz for face-to-face consultation. He is also available for psychotherapy through Skype video for those who are not in Florida or Colorado. He can be reached via email at for details.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

White Paper Research - Kenny - May 28th 2010

The Center for Flavonoid Research has an excellent White Paper study on the benefits of Dark Chocolate -

Dark Chocolate Followup. - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Dec 3rd 2009


Thank you for your very Sweet post in confirmation of my article. Just to keep all of you updated, my family and I are all eating dark chocolates and are feeling great. Now, I don't know if that is due to something in the chocolate (that is the theory) or if it's the joy of eating chocolate without guilt?


I urge all willing participants to give it a try.


Allan (smiling)

i stongly agree - hajira - Dec 3rd 2009

I love chocolates n especially dark chocolates n will like to inform you that before reading this research i on my behalf use to suggest my friends to have chocolates when they r deppress because i personnaly experienced it,whenever em sad if i eat sum chocolates my mood does change n i feel good n if i dun have chocolates i feel sad for long time...when i read your research i am feeling glad n excited because i feel thats true..n my personnal experiences agree with your work.

Cute Article - Cathy - Nov 23rd 2009

Let me be honest, our family would probably eat a week's supply the first day!  We try to ration goodies but would have to report that we do have a weakness in this area so generally just refrain from having such goodies in the house except on a limited basis.  I do think, however, that nutrition is what is missing from people's diets.  I think that one continues to eat and eat because the body is crying not for empty foods (chips, soda, all the instant crap) but for nutrition.  So, we probably won't be stocking up on many dark chocolate bars but I do double the cocoa and 1/2 the sugar in my recipes at home - it's an acquired taste.

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