Good News For Chocolate Lovers, Cautionary Advice for Wine Drinkers

by Dan Roberts
December 2003
(Updated May 2007)
A report published in the December 2003 issue of Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry announced that cocoa has more antioxidant power that wine or tea. We have been told that red wine and green tea are beneficial for our retinas, but it looks like we should be drinking cocoa, too.
Cocoa has almost twice the antioxidant power of wine, 2-3 times that of green tea, and 4-5 times that of black tea. Scientist Chang Yong Lee headed up the study under the auspices of Cornell University in New York and Seoul National University in Korea. In an interview with a reporter for the AARP Bulletin (January 2004), Dr. Lee suggested a cup of hot chocolate in the morning, a cup of green tea in the afternoon, and a glass of red wine in the evening. This combination would satisfy our daily antioxidant requirement.
But remember: all things in moderation. In a November 2001 Reader’s Digest article (“Custom-Fit Vitamins” by Lisa Davis), endocrynologist Michael Holick from Boston University pointed out that people who drink more than two glasses of wine daily could be doubling their risk of colon cancer, and women who drink one or two glasses of wine daily may raise their chances of developing breast cancer by up to forty per cent. Since a glass of red wine daily has been shown to be beneficial to the retina, its negative effects may be lessened by an intake of 400 to 600 mcg of vitamin B (folic acid). This is the equivalent of four to nine glasses of orange juice per day or two cups of boiled spinach, or it can be taken in a multivitamin.