Did Eating Dark Chocolate Improve Vision?

JAMA Ophthalmology

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: 11 A.M. (ET), THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 2018

Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Jeff C. Rabin, O.D., M.S., Ph.D., email Margaret Garcia at mlgarci2@uiwtx.edu. The full study is available on the For The Media website.

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Bottom Line: A small study found slight improvement in vision after eating dark chocolate.

Why The Research Is Interesting: Eating dark chocolate has been associated with better blood flow, mood and cognition in the short term but little is known about its possible effects on vision.

Who and When: 30 participants; testing was conducted from June to August 2017

What (Study Interventions and Outcomes): Eating a dark or milk chocolate bar (intervention); visual acuity and the ability to read letters of different sizes and contrast (lighter vs. darker letters) were measured about two hours after eating chocolate (outcomes)

How (Study Design): This was a randomized clinical trial (RCT). RCTs allow for the strongest inferences to be made about the true effect of an intervention such as a medication or a procedure. However, not all RCT results can be replicated in real-world settings because patient characteristics or other variables may differ from those that were studied in the RCT.

Authors: Jeff C. Rabin, O.D., M.S., Ph.D., University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry, San Antonio, and coauthors

Results:

Study Limitations: How long the effect on vision might last is unknown.

Study Conclusions: Real-world effects on vision of eating chocolate need to be tested.

For more details and to read the full study, please visit the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2018.0978)

Editor’s Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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