Put down the lozenge and pick up a Snickers.

Professor Alyn Morice, head of cardiovascular and respiratory studies at the University of Hull in Yorkshire, England, claims that there is research to prove chocolate can help soothe a cough.

The results of the largest real-world study of an over-the-counter remedy ever undertaken in Europe has found that medicine containing cocoa is better than a standard medicine, writes the Independent.

The head to head, or throat-to-throat, comparison involving 163 patients found that chocolate-based medicine encouraged significant improvement in symptoms within two days.

In addition researchers at Imperial College London have found that theobromine, an alkaloid in cocoa, is better at suppressing cough reflexes than codeine, the currently favoured ingredient in most medicines.

The cocoa also makes the remedy stickier than standard cough medicines, forming a coating over nerve endings in the throat which start coughing urges.

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