To stop coughing eat dark chocolate

&to=http:// 19/94/377/12690_chocolate.html' target=_blank>Dark chocolate may have &to=http:// 19/94/377/12690_chocolate.html' target=_blank>health benefits to weigh against fears of tooth decay or putting on weight.

A chemical compound, theobromine, which is found in cocoa, has proved more effective at stopping persistent coughing than codeine. Tests have so far involved only 10 people and larger studies are needed, according to a team from Imperial College and the Royal Brompton and St Bartholomew's hospitals in London and a Hungarian company. They described their work in an online journal published by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Doses used in the tests were equivalent to a 50g bar of dark chocolate, but the researchers said bigger doses might be more effective, informs the Guardian Unlimited.

According to the News 24, an ingredient in chocolate may actually be a more effective cough medicine than traditional remedies, New Scientist reports.

Researchers gave 10 healthy volunteers tablets containing &to=http://' target=_blank>theobromine - a constituent of cocoa - codeine, or a placebo.

The volunteers were asked to inhale a gas containing capsaicin - a derivative of chilli peppers - which induces coughing and is used as an indicator to test the effectiveness of cough medicines. It was discovered that theobromine is almost a third more effective in stopping persistent coughs compared to codeine.

Theobromine also appeared to have no unwanted side effects. This is not true of codeine, which is a narcotic and lists drowsiness and constipation among its negative effects.

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