Next thing you know, we may be buying chocolate cough syrup. That's according to a study done at the National Heart and Lung Institute in England. Researchers there have decided that a chemical in dark chocolate, called theobromine, is slightly more effective in suppressing a cough than codeine and some other narcotic cough medicines.
"It's actually related to a drug that we've used for asthma for decades called theopholin, which is a mild bronco-dilator. So it's not surprising that it might help cough," says Dr. Cliff Settle, a Lung Specialist.
Don't expect a candy bar to calm your next coughing spell. The study used theobromine in tablet form. In order to get the equivalent amount of the dose used in the study, you'd have to eat a seven ounce block of dark chocolate every time you cough, but researchers are trying to figure out how that chocolate flavor could be effective in prescription syrups.