Hot Chocolate : Liquid Help For Pain & Fatigue?

Before anything else I’ll just include a quick note – WordPress/Akismet (the anti-spam plug in) seems to have another hate on for me. I’m leaving a lot of comments on blogs that aren’t ‘sticking’, so I think they’re going straight to spam folders. I’ve contacted Akismet to let them know I keep being marked as spam and that it’s made me feel sad and unloved. Please do check your spam folders in case you’re getting genuine comments from me or other visitors in there.


I found a news article recently on the benefits of hot chocolate, claiming that a cup of cocoa can help ease pain & fatigue in those with MS, while helping others with chronic illness due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

As someone who loves hot chocolate, my interest was piqued.

Research undertaken by scientists at the Oxford Brookes University looked at MS patients who drank hot chocolate daily for 6 weeks. It’s the flavonoids in cocoa that have anti-inflammatory properties, and this is what the research is based around. This study has been published in the published in the BMJ Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

The scientists used a group of 40 patients newly diagnosed with relapse remitting MS, dividing the group into two. The first group drank cocoa rich in flavonoids mixed with heated up rice milk daily for 6 weeks. The second drank a low-flavonoid alternative. Participants then waited 30 minutes before any further food/drink/medications. The rest of their diet remained the same. Fatigue, pain and activity levels were monitored.

The results at the end of 6 weeks? There was a small but noticeable improvement in fatigue levels of those who drank the high-flavonoid cocoa, who also had slightly higher activity levels and slightly lower pain levels. 

Studies have suggested previously that flavonoids in hot chocolate can boost oxygen and blood flow to the brain, while also helping the heart due to anti-oxidant properties. Is there any truth to that? Who knows, but it’s an interesting angle for scientist to pursue further. 

Of course, the research where MS is concerned should be taken with a pinch of salt. It’s a very small study and it’s very early days, but it’s tempting to think that hot chocolate – or rather, some kind of dietary element – could be beneficial in other chronic illnesses too where pain and fatigue are concerned.

I don’t really think a cup of cocoa a day will keep the doctor away, but it’s a good excuse to indulge in more chocolate yumminess. My personal favourite is Options Belgian Hot Chocolate, mmmm nom nom  ♥

How do you take your hot chocolate?

Caz  ♥

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90 Comments

  1. April 30, 2019 / 4:37 pm

    helpfully healing
    & it tastes good?!
    sign me up
    as a research
    subject 🙂

    • May 3, 2019 / 3:33 pm

      I think there’ll be lots of research subjects for this one – definitely get on board. It’ll be a tough job having to drink hot chocolate every day but we’ll do it in the name of research 😉

  2. April 30, 2019 / 4:44 pm

    Reading this with chocolate in my mouth.
    I’ve had a tooth surgery today and I’m in pain. Chocolate seems to be the only thing that’s working.

    Great post.

    • April 30, 2019 / 6:47 pm

      Hope you feel better soon!

    • May 3, 2019 / 3:35 pm

      Oh no, I’m sorry you’re in pain from the tooth surgery. I don’t envy you. How are you doing today? Is it getting a bit better? I think chocolate has some of magical healing properties so it’s imperative you keep up regular intake 😉
      xx

  3. April 30, 2019 / 4:48 pm

    Chocolate does a body good. It really does.

    Have a fabulous day, Caz. ♥

    • May 3, 2019 / 3:35 pm

      I think so, too! Thanks for the comment, Sandee – I hope you have a lovely weekend ahead 🙂
      xx

  4. April 30, 2019 / 5:13 pm

    Ah… a woman after my own heart!

    • May 3, 2019 / 3:37 pm

      As the official Chocolate Lady I think you need to partake in this daily-hot-chocolate research too! 😉
      Thanks for the comment! x

  5. April 30, 2019 / 5:25 pm

    Great post, and so helpful for anyone who can use this information…

    • May 3, 2019 / 3:38 pm

      I think a lot of people should be trialling hot chocolate just in case it really does have beneficial properties. It can’t hurt to try in the name of research 😉
      Thanks John! Hope you have a good weekend ahead.x

  6. April 30, 2019 / 5:41 pm

    You just made my day Caz!!!! I love hot chocolate, especially made with dark chocolate. Whether it’s helpful for pain relief or not, it’s good for the soul.😁 If it IS good for pain relief, that’s the whipped cream on top.

    • May 3, 2019 / 3:40 pm

      It is good for the soul, and I don’t think it can hurt to indulge in it a little more 😉
      Drink up, it could be the tastiest research yet! xx

  7. April 30, 2019 / 5:45 pm

    I don’t drink hot chocolate very often, but when I do, its the darkest hot chocolate that I can find! We’ve recently purchased some Mexican hot chocolate that has cloves and cinnamon in it that is pretty good. I do eat a piece of dark chocolate fairly regularly – it is medicinal after all, haha 🙂
    I checked my spam – you aren’t in spam jail with my blog 🙂

    • May 3, 2019 / 3:43 pm

      I wish I liked dark chocolate but I’ve always found it too bitter for my taste. I have to eat milk chocolate & pretend it’s the healthier dark choc I’m eating 😉
      I’ve never tried Mexican hot chocolate but it sounds interesting, should give your drink a bit more of a kick with the cinnamon. I wonder what turmeric in it would be like? That’s supposed to be beneficial too. Not sure what the taste would end up like though. Worth a try!
      Thanks, Jodi – Hope you have a lovely weekend ahead xx

  8. April 30, 2019 / 6:49 pm

    this is quite interesting research, thank you so much for sharing it!

    • May 3, 2019 / 3:44 pm

      It’s nice to find some pleasant research for a change! Thanks, Wendi =]

  9. April 30, 2019 / 6:52 pm

    I enjoy hot chocolate. I also like a good cup of cold chocolate milk with my toast. 🙂

    • May 3, 2019 / 3:48 pm

      Mmm chocolate milk is lovely, I haven’t had any in a few years now. I’ll have to add it to my shopping list. Enjoy your chocolate drinks this weekend (remember, it’s part of vital research after all!) 🙂
      xx

  10. April 30, 2019 / 6:58 pm

    Im a huge fan of hot chocolate! So comforting even in the summertime. 🙂

    • May 3, 2019 / 3:51 pm

      It really is, it’s very soothing. I hope you get to have some over the weekend & relax 🙂
      xx

  11. April 30, 2019 / 7:13 pm

    It is definitely a good excuse to have a hot chocolate. Even if it’s only good for the soul, it’s doing us good.

    • May 3, 2019 / 3:52 pm

      It’s a win-win situation I think, and a good excuse to reach for the hot chocolate more often! 😉
      xx

  12. April 30, 2019 / 7:22 pm

    I feel sorry for the control group in that study.

    • May 3, 2019 / 3:52 pm

      Hahah yes, poor souls! x

  13. April 30, 2019 / 7:33 pm

    I knew this, but just reading this makes me feel better!

    • May 3, 2019 / 3:53 pm

      It’s a good excuse to drink more hot chocolate, it’s right there in the research 😉

  14. April 30, 2019 / 7:44 pm

    hmmm, I wonder which hot cocoa has the highest amount of flavonoids?
    I’d have me a cuppa every morning to test it out. 😉
    I do find it interesting that they are finding things in our diet that could help with our pain.
    We all know that certain foods or drinks can trigger our pain, so it only makes sense that others could be able to help it.

    Now I wonder if my daily piece of dark chocolate is helping more than just my sweet tooth.
    xoxo Wendy

    • May 3, 2019 / 4:23 pm

      That’s what I was wondering, but when I looked at the hot chocolate I drink (Options Belgian) there seems to be no way to discern the level of flavonoids. Maybe I’ll drop them an email..! I think the best thing to do in such an uncertain situation, Wendy, is to persevere with the pieces of dark chocolate & drink more hot cocoa (tough job but someone’s got to do it) as you need to fully investigate the research before drawing conclusions 😉
      Thanks for the great comment! xx

  15. April 30, 2019 / 8:28 pm

    Wonderful research here–really enjoyed this post! I love the idea of chocolate having anti-inflammatory properties–Maybe I’ll start drinking cocoa after I run? mmmm–yum, cocoa:)

    • May 2, 2019 / 5:28 pm

      It’s interesting, isn’t it? Definitely worth trying, and it could be a nice reward after your running 😀
      xx

  16. Svet
    April 30, 2019 / 10:49 pm

    Interesting, I think cocoa also improves the mood.

    • May 2, 2019 / 5:26 pm

      I think so too. Perhaps the comforting nature of it and the practice of slowing down to appreciate it also helps 🙂
      xx

  17. April 30, 2019 / 11:33 pm

    btw just checked spam & none there from you

    • May 2, 2019 / 5:25 pm

      Hurrah, that’s good! Akismet said they’ve resolved the issue, which affected my comments on some blogs using Akismet to block spam. x

    • May 3, 2019 / 3:53 pm

      Fab, that’s good! Thanks for checking 🙂

  18. May 1, 2019 / 12:12 am

    I am prepared to do some extensive research on this subject! 😉

    • May 2, 2019 / 5:24 pm

      I’m going to join you on that research project, I’d hate for you to have to do it all on your own after all..! 😀

  19. May 1, 2019 / 9:09 am

    Hot chocolate reducing fatigue and having antioxidant properties is a win-win situation if you ask me.

    • May 2, 2019 / 5:23 pm

      Couldn’t agree more, Darnell! Best research I’ve heard of for a while 😉

  20. May 1, 2019 / 1:31 pm

    Nice. I am addicted to chocolates 🙂

    • May 2, 2019 / 5:23 pm

      This is a good one for you then! 😀
      xx

  21. MamaDuck
    May 1, 2019 / 1:41 pm

    Such an interesting and delicious finding! Finally, something that tastes great and helps our health!

    • May 2, 2019 / 5:00 pm

      As if we need an excuse for hot chocolate, and it would be a shame to miss out on drinking it regularly to put the research to the test 😉

  22. May 1, 2019 / 4:49 pm

    What an interesting study! I’ve tried so much for chronic pain, why not try this? lol

    • May 2, 2019 / 4:49 pm

      This should be one of the more pleasant, enjoyable ones to try at least! 😉

  23. May 1, 2019 / 5:07 pm

    I’ve heard that Dark Chocolate has a lot of health benefits, but I’ve never heard that about anti-inflammatory properties. Thank you so much for sharing your findings!!! My Dr is always telling me to take more anti-inflammatory meds, but I try not to medicate any more than I have to. Another reason to love chocolate!!!
    Thank you,
    Renee

    • May 2, 2019 / 4:42 pm

      You’re right about dark chocolate, that’s often noted in health articles for its health benefits. Sadly I hate the taste! I eat milk chocolate & hope that one day they’ll say the same about that 😉 I think you should give the hot chocolate a trial so you can report back to your doctor that you’re undertaking important research! Thanks for the comment – I hope this week has been treating you well.xx

  24. May 2, 2019 / 4:40 am

    this is excellent news!

  25. May 2, 2019 / 9:43 am

    That’s really interesting. I wonder if Mexican hot chocolate is even more effective as doesn’t it have cinnamon and ginger too? I think those are antiflammatory too. I get arthritis in my fingers sometimes. This will be one test that will be fun to carry out.

    • May 2, 2019 / 3:07 pm

      I’ve never had Mexican hot chocolate, but I imagine mixing in cinnamon and ginger could only help the potential benefits. I wonder what turmeric would be like in it? I definitely think you need to test this out, with several hot chocolates every day, purely for research purposes of course 😉

  26. May 2, 2019 / 10:37 am

    Chocolate helps everything!!! 😃 Thank You for this and Cheers!!!

    • May 2, 2019 / 3:01 pm

      Chocolate makes the world a better place 😉 Thanks for the comment, Katy! xx

  27. May 2, 2019 / 12:44 pm

    Caz, I thoroughly enjoy a hot cocoa, soy milk drink most days – just because I luv it… Do we really need a better excuse? 🙂
    xoxoxo

    • May 2, 2019 / 3:00 pm

      Because you love it is the best excuse, potential health benefits is just the chocolate sprinkle on top! Enjoy the yummy cocoa 🙂
      xx

  28. May 3, 2019 / 9:33 pm

    Let food be your medicine… and all the more so when it’s something so delicious! 😀

    • May 4, 2019 / 10:39 am

      Must be the best medicine around! 😉

  29. May 4, 2019 / 1:15 am

    And who doesn’t love hot chocolate. Something yummy and good for us. Thank you Caz 🙂

    • May 4, 2019 / 10:39 am

      Yummy & good for us, you can’t beat that 😉
      Thanks for the comment lovely – have yourself some nice hot chocolate this weekend! xx

  30. May 4, 2019 / 8:34 pm

    Thank you so, so much for sharing this! A lovely excuse to indulge in my favorite drink… XD Perhaps it may even help with a bit of my fatigue and pain as well.

    • May 6, 2019 / 3:16 pm

      It’s worth indulging a little more, ‘just in case’ 😉
      Thanks for the read & comment, Madison – hope you have a lovely week ahead xx

  31. May 4, 2019 / 10:34 pm

    Great post! I just had to share it on twitter! Let’s face it hot chocolate is the best natural remedy! 😁 I’m drinking it now 😁

    • May 6, 2019 / 3:17 pm

      Aw thanks for sharing! Let’s all raise our mugs of hot chocolate to better health 😉
      xx

  32. May 5, 2019 / 9:30 am

    Just checked, and your comment from last week went into spam 🙁 If there’s anything I can do to stop it happening let me know, hopefully manually approving once will fix it 🙂

    Always happy to have an excuse for hot chocolate 😀 It’s weird, but I find if I drink anything with caffeine just after taking painkillers, the painkillers work faster!

    • May 6, 2019 / 3:18 pm

      Thanks for checking, Louise – I contacted Akismet as I wondered, with so many people using that for spam monitoring, if it was an issue on their end… it was, and they’ve assured me it’s been resolved. Fingers crossed!
      Really, caffeine after painkillers eh..? I’m going to have to try that, thanks for the tip! xx

  33. May 5, 2019 / 5:28 pm

    I’m pretty certain the healing properties of cocoa can be found in chocolate too. So if you like chocolate you’ve a great reason to have some.
    ((((hugs)))))

    • May 6, 2019 / 3:20 pm

      You’re right, though they often say it about dark chocolate, which I find too bitter (I just eat milk choc & pretend it’s dark!) Still, a very good excuse to have more chocolate in our lives! 😉
      I hope this week treats you well lovely xx

  34. May 5, 2019 / 10:29 pm

    Charlee: “Our dada says anything is a good reason to have more chocolate.”
    Chaplin: “Yet he never gives us any!”

    • May 6, 2019 / 10:38 am

      Aww mean dada! Chocolate is good for the soul, and possibly the solution to all world problems 😉

  35. May 8, 2019 / 11:05 am

    Great post, and lovely visuals. I like to think chocolate of any kind helps in many ways, nice to hear it may also help with pain, if even just a bit.

    • May 8, 2019 / 3:40 pm

      Thank you for the comment & I’m glad you liked the post! ‘Every little helps’ & it’s a good excuse for more chocolate 😉
      xx

  36. May 9, 2019 / 6:13 pm

    One of the good things aboiut your blog is how you keep things fresh. You have made me laugh, taught me new things, and even made me feel sadness.

    This post is so important. Thank you for sharing this. I am lucky to not have any problems with fatigue, but I will use this as an excuse to stock up on cocoa.

    • May 11, 2019 / 3:14 pm

      That’s really kind of you, thank you so much. I’m trying to branch out a little content-wise, so feedback like this is fantastic. Definitely a good excuse to stock-pile the cocoa drinks & chocolate, it’s good for the soul! Thank you again & I hope you’re having a lovely weekend 🙂
      x

  37. May 10, 2019 / 2:01 pm

    Just catching up on reading some blogs and this has definitely got me in the mood to make hot chocolate! Since I have been dairy-free, my go-to is warmed up plant-based milk with cocoa, maple syrup, some cinnamon and maybe even a shake of chilli. It is soooo good. Hope that you are well Caz xxx

    • May 11, 2019 / 3:10 pm

      Ooo that does sound good, Jen – brilliant you’ve found a way to enjoy it dairy-free, and the cinnamon & a touch of chilli should add a nice little kick of extra flavour. Yum! Hope you enjoy yourself some of that over the weekend 🙂
      xx

  38. May 11, 2019 / 12:31 am

    That’s wonderful to know. I’m not a big fan of chocolate drink but I love chocolate as is .Hopefully now that I know it will try to take a liking to the drink as well 🙂

    • May 11, 2019 / 3:03 pm

      I must admit I can be a bit picky about my hot chocolate. Some places do it really nicely (like Starbucks), and at home I stick to one brand (Options Belgian Hot Chocolate). That said, chocolate in any form I think is good for the soul so enjoy! 😉

  39. May 17, 2019 / 10:49 am

    I am not into drinking chocolate that much but, eating when I get into the chocolate mood. How are you Caz? Hope you are in Good Health. Thank you for reading my articles and appreciating them. Big Thank You as well for your encouragement. Blessing <3

    • May 17, 2019 / 2:52 pm

      I’m sure eating chocolate is just as good for the soul at least, Deepa 😉
      You’re welcome, and thank you too for your support on comments here, it means a lot. I hope you are well, and that you have a lovely, restful weekend ahead  ♥

  40. May 18, 2019 / 4:59 pm

    Chocolate is an elixir for the soul.

    • May 19, 2019 / 2:15 pm

      A fine way to put it, Tony – I agree! 😉

  41. May 20, 2019 / 1:30 pm

    I love this!! I actually add (bakers) Cocoa to my coffee every morning and brew them together. But this is great-it may be the way I give up drinking coffee!! Thanks, Caz!!

    • May 22, 2019 / 2:55 pm

      Ooo chocolate coffee, sounds nice but sadly I don’t like coffee. I always wish I did – I love the smell, and the likes of frothy cappuccinos look delicious, but I hate the taste. Maybe you could gradually put more cocoa in & less coffee, wean yourself down 😉
      xx

  42. August 4, 2019 / 6:28 am

    Wow this is so interesting! Makes me want hot chocolate even more than usual. Thanks for sharing xx

    • August 4, 2019 / 3:33 pm

      Any excuse for hot chocolate is a good excuse! 😉

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