Acute Vascular Effects of Chocolate in Healthy Human Volunteers

  • Manuel Rusconi
  • Maria Grazia Rossi
  • Tiziano Moccetti
  • Ario Conti


We have all experienced a sense of impending illness prior to its actual onset. Indeed, a lot of us have felt that either before or during sickness our emotions may have influenced the course of the disease. Such anecdotes have existed since ancient time and in the last decade have been the initial foundation for a new and rapidly developing area of medical research. Central to these sensations, as well as the new field of neuroendocrine-immune interactions, is the realization that our brain and endocrine system can influence our immunity and that the immune system serves as a sensory organ, which ultimately signals the brain. In recent decades, conceptual shifts in biological sciences have provided new evidence to support intuitive beliefs regarding the connection between the mind-body unit, external and/or internal stimuli such as viruses and bacteria, and primordial environmental stimuli such as light-dark cycle, moon cycle, tides, magnetic forces and humidity. Moreover, many new factors such as climate changes, air pollution, the rise in world population, particularly in developing countries, the rise of poverty in developed countries, and their social and environmental effects are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Consequently, the role of human management of the ecosystem, has been reconsidered by each and every one of us, scientists, politicians, and the lay public. On the other hand, methodological communication was not a major problem during the early days of medicine. Treatment modalities were based on a gift from mother nature: plants and extracts thereof. Herbal medicines, which have to be integrated in this vision, have long been an accepted treatment of various diseases throughout the world.


Cocoa Butter Cocoa Bean Healthy Human Volunteer Dark Chocolate Milk Chocolate 



The authors thank everyone who made the study possible. In particular, in alphabetical order: Andlauer Wilfried, University of Applied Sciences, Sion, Switzerland; Colombo Maria Laura, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Turin, Turin, Italy; Confiserie Teuscher AG, Zürich, Switzerland; Cosentino Marco and collaborators, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy; Mudry Jean Daniel, Swiss army, Bellinzona, Switzerland; Muggli Franco, Swissarmy, Grenadier School, Isone, Switzerland; Nurses and dieticians of Cardio Centro Ticino, Lugano, Switzerland; Paoletti Rodolfo, Department of Pharmacology, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; Pasotti Marco, Cioccolatieri ticinesi, LuganoTrevano, Switzerland; Rusconi Manuel, co-author of the publication, who has done the work for his PhD title, Locarno, Switzerland; Soldati Gianni, Laboratorio di diagnostica molecolare, Lugano, Switzerland; Technicians of the clinical analysis laboratory of the regional hospital in Lugano, Switzerland; Villettaz Jean Claude, University of Applied Sciences, Sion, Switzerland; Volunteers: all volunteers who participated in the study deserve a special thank; Zanini Giovanni Maria, cantonal pharmacist, Mendrisio, Switzerland.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuel Rusconi
  • Maria Grazia Rossi
  • Tiziano Moccetti
  • Ario Conti
    • 1
  1. 1.Alpine Foundation for Life SciencesOlivone, TicinoSwitzerland

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