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Will doctors soon be recommending a daily chocolate pill?

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Photo: Stocksy/Gillian Vann

Chances are a “chocolate is good for you” headline pops up in your Google news alerts every few months—scientists love declaring that the favored dessert is doing your body some good. And while getting your fix in candy form does more harm than good thanks to the sugar (sorry), cocoa do have some health benefits, so there is truth to the claim. And now, medical scientists are experimenting with dark chocolate supplements.

According to the Women’s Health Initiative, researchers are looking for volunteers to sign up for a four-year study to see firsthand if taking a daily dose of cocoa extract has positive effects on the body. (Um, best medical experiment ever?)

Half the volunteers will be taking a placebo while the other half will be given a dark cocoa capsule, which will have the health benefits of eating 1,000 calories worth of dark chocolate—without the not-so-great stuff, like sugar.

It’s not just an excuse to get people to have their chocolate fix every day. Sadly, the capsules won’t even taste like chocolate. (Would it have been that hard to make them chewable?) The researchers are hopeful about the cocoa capsules’ effect on cardiovascular health, since dark chocolate has been linked to improving vascular health, increased blood flow, and a reduced risk in getting a heart attack. So if things pan out, in five years, doctors could be handing out cocoa pills like they’re, well, candy.

In other chocolate news, find out why people are getting high off cacao. And if today’s news has you seriously craving something sweet, get your fix with these three frozen desserts that will give you energy—not a sugar hangover.