Apr 28, 2010 12:17 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Craving chocolate? You may be depressed

Creamy, mouthwatering chocolate.

A new study confirms our affection for this confection goes beyond our taste buds. For some people it appears to be medicinal.

California researchers looked into the connection between chocolate and moods. 931 men and women who don't take antidepressants were screened. Those who had no depression ate 5.4 servings of chocolate a month. Those found to have major depression ate more than twice as much chocolate.

"What the study shows is that people that are depressed eat more chocolate, and we can't exactly explain why, but the theory is chocolate makes you feel better," Eva Ritvo, a Psychiatrist, said.

Rachel Schachter owns Shokolaat on Miami Beach. Her customers sometimes confide their reasons for buying chocolate. "They will tell me, for example, that they have had a very difficult day. They have gone through a divorce and they need something just to life them up," she said.

Consuming chocolate could be a form of self-medication, but researchers found on average -- it didn't overcome depression.

"I can tell you one thing, which is I have never prescribed chocolate for depression. On the other hand if you have a stressful situation and a little bite of chocolate gets you through it, then you're using in a good way," Dr. Ritvo said.



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