By RACHAEL GREALISH
It’s the cold season, which means you’ll be throwing all sorts of lozenges, sprays and syrups down your throat in a bid to keep your voice fighting fit (not to mention audible).
Well, here’s some good news — chuck away that horrid tasting medicine and start chomping down on a few bars of the good stuff, as one doctor has said that chocolate is better for your throat than cough syrup.
According to Professor Alyn Morice — head of cardiovascular and respiratory studies at the University of Hull and founding member of the International Society for the Study of Cough — having a bar of ‘milk chocolate’ is better for a cough than over-the-counter medicine.
Plus, we all know which one tastes a helluva lot better.
He told MailOnline: “Chocolate can calm coughs. I know that might sound like something out of Mary Poppins, but as an independent clinician who has spent years researching the mechanism of cough, I can assure you the evidence is actually as solid a bar of Fruit and Nut.”
The professor has recently gone over the results of the largest ‘real-world study of an over-the-counter cough remedy ever undertaken in Europe’, which suggest new medicine that contains cocoa (the main ingredient of chocolate) is better than a standard linctus (thick liquid cough syrup).
Researchers found that when they compared patients who took the chocolate-based medicine to patients taking regular medicine, the former saw a significant improvement with their symptoms in as little as two days.
The study, titled ROCOCO, was a randomised controlled trial of 163 patients, and there are plans for it to be published within a year.
Professor Alyn said he isn’t the first to come up with this kind of theory, in fact he stated how researchers at Imperial College in London found theobromine — an alkaloid component in cocoa — is ‘better at suppressing the urge to cough than codeine’.
He added: “The idea that chocolate could cure a cough might sound a bit mad, but the ROCOCO researchers believe the benefits are primarily down to the demulcent properties of cocoa.
“This simply means it is stickier and more viscous than standard cough medicines, so it forms a coating which protects nerve endings in the throat which trigger the urge to cough.
“This demulcent effect explains why honey and lemon and other sugary syrups can help, but I think there is something more going on with chocolate.
“I’m sure it has a pharmacological activity, some sort of inhibitory effect on the nerve endings themselves.”
Although, he did add that chugging down a mug of your favourite hot chocolate won’t have the same effect on your cough as an actual bar of chocolate — so, if in doubt, grab the big bar.
Even with this research, and as great as it all sounds, probably best to check with your GP if home remedies of bars of chocolate don’t work.
Featured Image Credit: PA
About Author — Rachael is a NCTJ qualified journalist from West Cumbria, with a passion for news, features and journalism. Outside of work Rachael loves plenty of coffee, running and reading.