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Observations placeholder

Breath holding, chocolate and shift working



Type of Spiritual Experience


The following is fascinating and the nature of the experiment may hide some of its implications.

At a superficial level, the study shows that chocolate may help divers.  But at a deeper level it also shows that if you combine chocolate eating with controlled breathing exercises at the right temperatures it can provide all sorts of benefits. 

A description of the experience

Dark chocolate reduces endothelial dysfunction after successive breath-hold dives in cool water. Theunissen S, Schumacker J, Guerrero F, Tillmans F, Boutros A, Lambrechts K, Mazur A, Pieri M, Germonpré P, Balestra C. Haute Ecole Paul Henri Spaak Brussels, Brussels, Belgium, sigtheunissen@gmail.com.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to observe the effects of dark chocolate on endothelial function after a series of successive apnea dives in non-thermoneutral water.

METHODS: Twenty breath-hold divers were divided into two groups: a control group (8 males and 2 females) and a chocolate group (9 males and 1 female). The control group was asked to perform a series of dives to 20 m adding up to 20 min in the quiet diving pool of Conflans-Ste-Honorine (Paris, France), water temperature was 27 °C. The chocolate group performed the dives 1 h after ingestion of 30 g of dark chocolate. Flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), digital photoplethysmography, nitric oxide (NO), and peroxynitrite ONOO-) levels were measured before and after each series of breath-hold dives.

RESULTS: A significant decrease in FMD was observed in the control group after the dives (95.28 ± 2.9 % of pre-dive values, p < 0.001) while it was increased in the chocolate group (104.1 ± 2.9 % of pre-dive values, p < 0.01). A decrease in the NO level was observed in the control group (86.76 ± 15.57 %, p < 0.05) whereas no difference was shown in the chocolate group (98.44 ± 31.86 %, p > 0.05). No differences in digital photoplethysmography and peroxynitrites were observed between before and after the dives.

CONCLUSION: Antioxidants contained in dark chocolate scavenge free radicals produced during breath-hold diving. Ingestion of 30 g of dark chocolate 1 h before the dive can thus prevent endothelial dysfunction which can be observed after a series of breath-hold dives.

PMID: 24078211

The source of the experience


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