Herpes Women, Hormones and Chocolate

By: Nathalie Foy

Chocolate could have an influence on women herpes symptoms. Several articles published recently claim that chocolate is a health food superior even to green tea. A study in 2003 suggested that eating chocolate regularly could prolong your life span, and other studies suggest that it protects blood vessels. Chocolate may be an antioxidant and contain lots of polyphenols, but for people with herpes, chocolate is often a trigger.

Most studies on chocolate conclude that it is best to eat highly concentrated dark chocolate because it contains more antioxidant, polyphenols and minerals than other varieties and also because it usually contains less added sugar and fat.

Chocolate also contains ingredients which can suppress your immune system, such as metylxantil and small amounts of caffeine and refined sugar.

Its high arginine content gives fuel to herpes reproduction. So chocolate should be avoided by both men and women infected with herpes.

Menopausal women or those suffering from PMS should be extra careful about their chocolate intake. Chocolate can stimulate the production of certain prostaglandins, which are thought to promote PMS. Women with PMS are often advised to avoid beverages or foods (tea, coffee and chocolate) containing Xantine or melxantil in order to reduce nervousness, breast tenderness and irritability.

A 2002 laboratory study conducted in New Jersey suggested that prostaglandins inhibitors such as aspirin could prevent reproduction of the human cytomegalovirus (CMV) virus and that may also be the case with the herpes virus.

Other small studies indicate that a certain type of prostaglandin (E2) exacerbates herpes virus proliferation while another (E1), suppresses it.

In other words, the action of chocolate on prostaglandin (E2) could promote herpes replication and especially in women during PMS and menopause. Body levels of prostaglandin (E1) decrease during PMS and menopause while other types of prostaglandins naturally increase.

This could mean that women who display high prostaglandin levels naturally experience more severe herpes symptoms and that eating chocolate could make things worse for them.

This theory is backed up by my personal experience, and that of my female readers. We are much more herpes-prone during the 7 to 12 days prior to menstruation or during the menopause. So avoiding chocolate a little prior to menstruation is essential. Dairy produce, can contribute to stimulating the production of prostaglandins so milk chocolate is even worse.

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