Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

A night of chocolate at the RiAus

// February 3rd, 2011 // Comments Off on A night of chocolate at the RiAus // Science Communication

Chocolate Truffle

Image by Digital Sextant

Love chocolate? Tonight at Adelaide’s RiAus the spotlight is on gluttony and chocolate addictions.

It’s sold out, but you can watch the livestream here from 6:00 Adelaide time and have your own chocolate tastings at home.

Brendan Somerville from Haighs will talk about what makes chocolate so good. Chocolate has been around since the Aztec’s were big, originating some 3000 years ago in South America. Back then it was a bitter tasting drink, and nowhere near the delight we enjoy today.

Last year the cacao tree genome was sequenced, creating a blueprint of the source of chocolate. With it trees could be altered to become resistant to disease and to produce higher quality chocolate.

As well as using science to improve chocolate, we use it to justify eating just one more piece. Like red wine, chocolate in the right doses can be good for you. The medicinal powers ascribed to the “food of the gods” include:

Chocolate can suppress coughing.
Chocolate can lower blood pressure
Chocolate reduces stress

But there’s a downside, namely sugar and fat and a potential for addiction. The best chocolate to eat is small quantities of very dark chocolate, low in the bad stuff but high in the good stuff. Fortunately this is my favourite.

In the world of Food Porn Daily and Not So Humble Pie, any one of us can become a weapon of mass chocolate consumption. Cravings and addictions aren’t just limited to chocolate, I know for a fact they extend to Banana Caramel Cream Pie, particularly the one at Café Paparizzi in Malvern. So far I’ve managed to resist, but it’s only a matter of time.

Or is it? Dr Robyn Vale is also speaking tonight about how to resist temptation and avoid food cravings.

But purely for medicinal purposes, I think you should have a bit of chocolate while you watch the livestream.

So what are you craving right now?

How to stop coughing with medicine or chocolate

// May 26th, 2010 // 4 Comments » // Drugs

Image by Peter Pearson

I have been sadly struck down with a cold. So it was with weary steps I took myself to the pharmacy to obtain suitable drugs, and plenty of them. I got capsules which contain paracetamol (painkiller,) phenylephrine (ineffective speed-like drug that used to be pseudoephedrine and now doesn’t really work) and dextromethorphan (cough suppressant.)

Well I’m still coughing… So let’s see what the deal is with Mr. Dextromethorphan. Dexter for short.

Dexter is chemically similar to morphine and codeine. It was first developed to replace codeine as America’s favourite cough suppressant, and has been successful because it is non-addictive and has less potential for abuse. Unfortunately there’s debate about whether it actually works, particularly in children.

It may have less potential for abuse, but people still have a good time on cough medicine. Too much Dexter acts as a dissociative hallucinogen similar to ketamine (aka Special K) or PCP. Possibly you could enjoy watching a TV show of animals through a wide angled lens if you had too much.

If that’s not your cup of tea, why not actually have a cup of tea? Tea contains theobromine, which can suppress coughing. You know what else has theobromine in it? Cocoa. Dark chocolate in particular is a good source of theobromine, and is a delicious alternative to cough medicine. The study reported by New Scientist showed it was more effective than codeine, and better than placebo.

Dexter must have kicked in now, I’m not coughing so much. I always feel spaced out from cough medicine though, and I’m feeling pretty zonked… Methinks I will seek out some large supply of chocolate, just in case.






Buy me a Beer!
    If you don't want me to mention your donation just check the box above.
  • $ 0.00
Twittarrr
Follow @CaptainSkellett (561 followers)
Find Me Writin’s