Finally...chocolate that 'can put end to wrinkles'
It may seem too good to be true, but a guilt-free chocolate that promises to combat wrinkles and sagging skin has been developed by scientists.
Esthechoc, the brainchild of a Cambridge University-linked laboratory, claims to boost antioxidant levels and increase circulation to prevent lines and keep skin looking youthful and smooth. A small 7.5g bar of the chocolate contains the same amount of the antioxidant astaxanthin as a fillet of Alaskan salmon, and equal levels of free radical-fighting cocoa polyphenols as 100g of dark chocolate.
Its makers claim it can change the underlying skin of a 50 to 60-year-old into that of someone in their 20s or 30s.
Tests on 400 volunteers showed that after four weeks of eating the chocolate every day they had less evidence of inflammation in their blood and increased blood supply to skin tissue.
Dr Ivan Petyaev, a former Cambridge University researcher, and the founder of biotech firm Lycotec behind the product, said: "We're using the same antioxidant that keeps goldfish gold and flamingos pink. In clinical trials, we saw that inflammation in the skin starting to go down and the tissues began to benefit.
"We used people in their 50s and 60s and, in terms of skin biomarkers, we found it had brought skin back to the levels of a 20 or 30-year-old. So we've improved the skin's physiology.
"People claimed that their skin was better, and we can see that the product is working to slow down ageing."
As the bar contains just 38 calories, its makers say it is even safe for diabetics. The confectionery, which is also called Cambridge Beauty Chocolate, comes boxed as a three-week supply and will be available in high-end retailers from next month.
It is also likely to come with a hefty price tag, although its makers were unwilling to reveal the cost before its launch at the Global Food Innovation Summit in London next month.
However, health experts were careful to reserve judgment. Naveed Sattar, a professor of metabolic medicine at Glasgow University, said more robust clinical trials would be needed to validate the "ridiculously strong" claims.
"Some of the compounds may benefit some processes linked to ageing. But eating too much chocolate means more calories, which means obesity," he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)