Is there anything that dark chocolate can’t do? For years it has been touted as having positive health benefits for increasing productivity in brain function, lowering troublesome blood pressure, and even controlling blood sugar levels while keeping your blood vessels strong and improving circulation. You can also expect a boost to your immune system, because these tasty dessert squares are chock-full of antioxidants. Antioxidants aid in the removal of free radicals, and can ultimately help to combat the growth and spread of cancer cells. But is dark chocolate going to be the new Viagra replacement? It is entirely possible, or so some new studies are beginning to suggest.

You Can’t Argue With the Science

Ancient Aztec myth declares dark chocolate a natural aphrodisiac, and science is starting to support the claim. The European Food Safety Authority has already claimed that cocoa flavonols help increase blood flow throughout the body. This has encouraged the manufacturer Barry Callebaut to begin production on (what they call) “super-charged chocolate.” They claim that their product can mimic the effects of smooth muscle relaxation and vasodilation that the drug Viagra is proven to create in men. The effects, of course, will depend on the level of flavonols that are packed into the delivery mechanism. It is entirely possible that snacks of the future will be able to enhance the male experience.

Don’t Run to the Chocolate Counter Just Yet

While the proposed Callebaut product may be able to increase blood flow in the same way, it is still yet to be proven whether the effect will be as localized as the effect of the famous blue pill. The manufacturer claims to have a privately held cocoa extraction method (entitled Acticoa) that allows for nearly 80% retention of the precious cocoa flavonols. However, there’s no supportive evidence (as of yet) to say what level is necessary to encourage the required amount of vasodilation that will show a result in men’s performance issues. Men may have to adopt a “wait and see” attitude until anecdotal evidence and ad hoc data starts to emerge.

Dark Chocolate: The Metaphorical Viagra

Dark chocolate is said to imitate the emotional sensation of love in some people, so one would think that this placebo-like effect should be sufficient to appreciate the sweet treat. However, if the science proves it to be effective for sexual performance, then it may become the perfect natural alternative to drug enhancement. In this possible future, however, this will beg the question: why is chocolate the typical gift that men give women for Valentine’s Day? Perhaps it’s time for women to flout tradition in the face of this possibly game-changing scientific evidence, and give their men the gift of dark chocolate instead. They will not only be showing their affection, but also demonstrating their concern for their partner’s general health and well-being. If women receive some benefit in return, then all the better.

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