March 24, 2014
WASHINGTON — Dark chocolate is known to help prevent heart disease, but eating too much of it may be not so good for your body weight. But never fear! Scientists are looking for a way to concentrate dark chocolate's helpful ingredients in supplemental pills.
Cocoa contains chemicals called flavanols that may help reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks by lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels and improving the body's use of insulin.
Washington chocolatier Steve Koumanelis said that is one reason dark chocolate is increasingly popular among his customers.
“A lot of people are gravitating towards dark chocolate because they just decide they love it, and they also have been reading all about the health benefits of dark chocolate,” said Koumanelis.
But those benefits have not been confirmed by studies involving large numbers of people. Also, during the manufacture of chocolate, many flavanoids are destroyed, while sugar and saturated fats are added to contribute to flavor.
Scientists now want to learn the benefits of flavanols in their unadulterated form. They plan a four-year study of 18,000 adults, who will take capsules of pure cocoa flavanols, in what is being called the largest test of its kind.
Jo-Ann Manson, of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, is the lead researcher.
“This capsule of cocoa flavanols will avoid having the calories and the sugar and the saturated fat found in chocolate,” said Manson.
The capsules also won't have any taste.
Participants, divided in two groups, will take two identical pills a day. One group’s pills will contain flavanols, while the others will get placebo pills.
“The amount of chocolate that it would take in order to have this amount of cocoa flavanols would be more than ten times the amount that people would ordinarily eat,” said Manson.
Whatever the outcome of the study, Koumanelis said he’s not worried about his business.
“People like the experience of actually biting into a piece of chocolate, whatever their favorites are,” he said.
The flavanol benefits test is still in the early stage, so scientists are not sure when the participants will be handed their first chocolate pills. In the meantime, they'll get their flavanols the old fashioned way!
Never fear! (idiom) 別怕！別擔心！
concentrate (v) 濃縮；集中
supplemental (a) 補充的XXXXX*名詞是supplement，可指各式各樣藥錠、膠囊型的營養補給品，維他命、微量元素、膳食纖維等
黑巧克力能預防心臟疾病，但吃多了難維持體重。現在不用怕了 (Never fear! )，科學家們正找方法濃縮 (concentrate) 黑巧克力的有用成份 (ingredient)，製成營養補充錠 (supplemental pill)。
gravitate towards (v phr) 受 . . . 吸引
unadulterated (a) 無攙雜的；純粹的
capsule (n) 膠囊
可可豆含有黃烷醇 (flavanols) 的化學物質，能降低血壓與壞膽固醇 (bad cholesterol ) 濃度，改善身體對胰島素 (insulin) 的利用 ，進而減低中風 (strokes) 、 心臟病 (heart attacks) 發生的機會。
科學家們將透過研究知道無雜質 (unadulterated ) 的黃烷醇對身體的好處。在此號稱對黃烷醇最大規模的研究中，研究人員將研究食用純可可黃烷醇膠囊 (capsule) 的一萬八千位成人達四年的時間。
identical (a) 相同的；一模一樣的XXXXX* identical twins 是外表幾乎一樣的「同卵雙胞胎」；跟本字有點像的另一個形容詞是 identifiable，意思是「可被辨識的」，例句：”The fingerprint on the door was not identifiable.” (門上的指紋是無法辨識的。)
placebo (n) 安慰劑XXXXX*本字注意發音：
outcome (n) 結果XXXXX*有幾個字都有 -come 跟 -go ，不要搞錯了：overcome (v) 克服；income (n) 收入；outgo (n) 支出；ongoing (a) 進行中的
in the meantime (phr) 同時；(未來某事件發生前的) 此階段
參與者 (participant )被分成兩組，每天服用兩次外觀一樣的 (identical) 藥錠，但其中一組人的藥錠含有可可黃烷醇，另一組則只是服用安慰劑 (placebo)。
可可黃烷醇益處的研究現在仍在早期階段 (in the early stage)，科學家們也不確定參與研究者何時能領到第一批的巧克力補充錠。現階段 (in the meantime) 想要補充黃烷醇的話，只能透過傳統的方式 (the old fashioned way) 了！
Check your vocabulary!
Fill in the blanks with a word or phrase from the list above. Make necessary changes. After you finish, select the text below to reveal the hidden answers.
1. They took the capsules daily for six months.
2. The doctor will be here soon. In the meantime, try and relax.
3. Nowadays more and more people are choosing to buy unadulterated organic food, which has been grown without pesticides and chemicals.
4. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive a placebo or the cholesterol-lowering drug.
5. The two words are identical in meaning.