A new report from JAMA Ophthalmology suggests that you’d be better off reading JAMA Opthamology after housing some dark chocolate. Everyday Health reports that researchers, including lead study author Jeff Rabin, have found that eating both dark and milk chocolate can positively affect your vision in the short term.
In the single-blind study, 30 healthy adults (largely women in their twenties) were given two Trader Joe’s chocolate bars, several days apart. The first was milk chocolate, the second was dark chocolate. Everyday Science notes that yes, it’s pretty easy to tell milk chocolate from dark chocolate, but adds that researchers don’t feel this influenced the results, since those participating weren’t informed of the intent of the study. Take it away, science!:
After eating each type of chocolate, the participants completed a number of vision exams… Results of the small-letter test revealed that participants had improved eyesight that translated to about 40 percent, Dr. Rabin says, which he explains is comparable to using two eyes versus one.
As always with studies of this kind, it’s important to take the findings with a grain of salt, or perhaps a flake of sea salt that’s been lovingly sprinkled atop some 72 percent cacao. Thirty people is a small sample size, and as Rabin told Everyday Health, “This is not anywhere near prescription. This is very early, and it’s a very small effect…I don’t know the duration of the effect or long-term effects on vision—that awaits further study.”
Dr. Andrew Morgenstern has other concerns. As he said to Everyday Health, the study doesn’t take into account the downsides of chocolate consumption:
“Diabetes is rampant in today’s population, and obviously the short-term effect of eating chocolate is one thing,” Dr. Morgenstern says. “While it might give them a short-term boost in visual acuity, what happens in the long term? That would be the caveat. Dietary intake has to be addressed.”
We think Dr. Morgenstern doesn’t take into account the fact that dark chocolate is also delicious, but whatever, he’s the doctor. You can read the full study here.