07/01/2011 10:01 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Dark Chocolate May Ease Chronic Fatigue Symptoms

At last there's some good news for the 250,000 or more people in Britain thought to be affected by chronic fatigue syndrome or ME (CFS/ME). Eating dark chocolate, say researchers from the University of Hull and the Hull York Medical School, may significantly improve your wellbeing. Well we like the sound of that.

Dark chocolate reduces chronic fatigue symptoms Dark chocolate may help people with chronic fatigue (ME). Photo: MorgueFile, alvimann

Writing in Nutrition Journal, the researchers describe the tests they performed on ten patients who were suffering from severe CFS/ME. Each day for eight weeks, they were asked to eat three 15g bars of dark chocolate (85% cocoa solids).

All together the chocolate added an extra 245 calories to the patients' daily intake - but surprisingly none gained weight. Even more encouragingly, each of the CFS/ME sufferers claimed they'd noticed significant improvements to their wellbeing.

The researchers put the health-boosting effect down to the polyphenol content in dark chocolate, and specifically the effect it's thought to have on increasing feel-good brain chemicals such as serotonin and anandamide.

Of course it's not the first time experts have suggested a little bit of dark chocolate can boost your health, with a growing number of studies claiming it may be good for your heart.

Meanwhile CFS/ME can be notoriously difficult to treat as it presents a range of symptoms that differ from one sufferer to another - the most common being overwhelming exhaustion, muscle pain, constant flu-like symptoms, crushing headaches and cognitive problems such as an inability to concentrate or read.

How much chocolate do you eat - and do you get a boost afterwards?

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