- People who consumed dark chocolate were 70% less likely to report clinically relevant depressive symptoms at 24-hour recall than those reporting no consumption, even after controlling for confounders.
- Effect increased with amount of dark chocolate consumed.
Why this matters
- Prior studies of chocolate consumption and risk for depressive symptoms yielded conflicting results.
- Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007-2008 and 2013-2014; n=13,626; age, ≥20 years) were studied.
- Daily chocolate consumption (≥45% cocoa solids) calculated in grams (the average of two 24‐hour recalls).
- Depressive symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire).
- Funding: None disclosed.
- 11.1% (n=1332) reported any chocolate consumption, of whom 12.1% (n=148) reported any dark chocolate consumption.
- There were lower odds of reporting clinically relevant depressive symptoms (aOR, 0.30; 95% CI, 0.21-0.72) among individuals with any dark chocolate consumption vs no chocolate consumption.
- A significant negative association was noted between the highest quartile of total chocolate consumption (104-454 g/day) and clinically relevant depressive symptoms (OR, 0.42; 95% CI, 0.19-0.92).
- The association remained significant after adjusting for dark chocolate consumption vs no dark chocolate consumption (aOR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.19-0.96).
- Findings to be interpreted with caution.
- Possibility of residual confounders.
Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm