Gut Instincts

When you're craving a chocolate fix, does it feel like the desire is coming straight from your stomach? A recent Swiss study may help explain that odd sensation. Researchers looked at a group of 22 healthy non-obese men – 11 who expressed an indifference to chocolate and 11 who consumed it daily – and fed them an identical diet for five days. Afterward, they examined byproducts of the participants' blood and urine.

Surprisingly, there were a dozen significantly different substances between the two groups. Chocolate lovers had higher concentrations of the amino acid glycine, while the non-chocolate group had more taurine in their system. The chocolate eaters also had lower levels of the 'bad' LDL cholesterol.

The Bigger Picture: Although Swiss scientists aren't sure whether the presence of certain bacteria in the digestive system causes cravings, or even if diet choices establish the types of bacteria in your system, further research may uncover ways to alter what grows in your gut to help change eating habits. Until then, a Lift Bar can be a more nutritious replacement for candy the next time you crave chocolate. Try one in new Cookies & Cream flavor.
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