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Cough cure breakthrough: chocolate--the best medicine.

Good news for chocaholics--not so good for the pharmaceutical industry. A British study conducted at London's Imperial College shows that eating chocolate could be a better way of stopping persistent coughing than anything available from the chemist.

Research has found that theobromine, an ingredient of cocoa, is 30% more effective in preventing coughing than codeine--considered the best available cough medicine. Better still, say the scientists, it does not cause such potential side effects as drowsiness, headaches or insomnia.

According to Professor Peter Barnes, head of respiratory medicine at the college, there is a need for new cough treatment. Chocolate is a strong contender.

The researchers, writing in the journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, say chocolate works best because it suppresses the activity of the vagus nerve, the trigger responsible for causing coughing. And, because it has no side effects, it's possible to give far bigger doses, increasing its effectiveness.

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Publication:African Business
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 1, 2005
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