Could Chocolate And Green Tea Help Protect A Poz Brain?
8/17/2012 3:00:00 PM
By Alex Garner
Put down that boring chicken breast and brown rice! Chocolate and green tea might end up being the best thing for the brains of people living with HIV. Every few months we hear about the glorious salubrious effect chocolate can have. Now there is one more thing to add to the list. New research seems to indicate that compounds found in chocolate, as well as green tea, might protect the brain.
I’ve never been a big fan of great tea, or any tea for that matter, but chocolate has always provided immense satisfaction. I have an irrational fear of AIDS related dementia and now I can just consume a wide variety of chocolate concoctions to ease my anxiety.
In their research, Steiner and colleagues analyzed the effects of 2000 compounds, containing both natural substances and FDA-approved drugs, on brain cells in the laboratory. They identified a series of compounds which had the potential to help protect neurons in the brain. Nine of these were related to epicatechin, which is found in cocoa and green tea leaves.
This could present a real conundrum. Image if chocolate was shown to be this super-food to fight HIV. What would gay men choose, their waistline or their brain? I guess we know the answer to that already when we compare the amount of time gays spend at the gym, compared to at the library.
It’s nice to imagine living in a world where chocolate and green tea become part of your daily regimen, instead of a combination of pills that could deform your body and give you psychotic dreams. Ah, what a world that would be?
For now we’ve got to contend with what we’ve got- meds, acupuncture, yoga. But that next time AIDS has got you down, treat yourself to a Hershey Bar and Starbucks green tea. Sit back and relax and imagine how thankful your poz brain will be.
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