You might be better of indulging in a bar of milk chocolate instead of medicine the next time you have a cough, British doctors say.

According to the Daily Record, Professor Alyn Morice at the University of Hull says "chocolate can calm coughs".

The doctor says researchers have just seen the results of a recent study of over-the-counter medicine.

"This proves that a new medicine which contains cocoa is better than a standard linctus."

A study of 163 people showed patients taking chocolate-based medicine saw significant improvements in two days. Specifically, researchers found that theobromine, an alkaloid in cocoa, is better at suppressing the urge to cough than codeine.

Morice reports that it's down to chocolate's "demulcent properties." Because it is sticky, it forms a coating on the throat's nerve endings, suppressing the cough.