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Five tablespoons of cocoa per day increased HDL levels by 24%
Monday, March 19, 2007 4:39 am Email this article
People taking 26 grams of cocoa -- the amount in five tablespoons of cocoa -- increased their HDL cholesterol levels by 24 percent after three months according to study from Japan. HDL Levels
HDL levels increased 24%, from 53 to 65 mg/dL
HDL cholesterol levels increased from 53 to 65 mg/dL in people given cocoa.
HDL cholesterol is protective against cardiovascular disease.
LDL levels dropped 13%, from 135 to 118 mg/dL
LDL cholesterol levels dropped by 13 percent, from 135 to 118, however, the difference was not statistically significant.
Reduced LDL oxidation
The cocoa also reduce oxidation of LDL cholesterol. (Oxidized LDL is one of the main causes of cardiovascular disease. Oxidized LDL leads to clogged arteries.)
Appetite and Adverse Effects
No effect on appetite; No adverse effects
Cocoa had no effect on calorie intake, and no adverse effects were reported with this dose.
Compounds Responsible for Raised HDL and Reduced LDL Oxidation
Antioxidant compounds in cocoa raised HDL levels and reduced LDL oxidation
The catechin polyphenols in cocoa are probably responsible for raising HDL levels and reducing oxidation of LDL. Other studies have found that similar compounds—flavanoids other than catechins, flavones and polyphenols found in red wine—all can raise HDL levels.
Cocoa probably reduces cardiovascular disease
“Because polyphenolic substances derived from cocoa powder contribute to the elevation of HDL cholesterol, it would be anticipated that intake of polyphenol-rich foods, such as cocoa, tea, wine, fruit, and vegetables, should lead to a decrease in the incidence of arteriosclerotic disease,” the authors concluded.
Cocoa Fights Obesity
Cocoa prevents diet-induced obesity in rats
A recent study found that cocoa prevented diet-induced obesity in rats by reducing fat production and increasing thermogenesis.
This suggests that cocoa might be useful in preventing diet-induced obesity in humans and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Baba S, Osakabe N, Kato Y, Natsume M, Yasuda A, Kido T, Fukuda K, Muto Y, Kondo K. Continuous intake of polyphenolic compounds containing cocoa powder reduces ldl oxidative susceptibility and has beneficial effects on plasma hdl-cholesterol concentrations in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Mar, 85(3):709-17.
AUTHOR’S CONTACT INFORMATION
Food and Health R&D Laboratories
Meiji Seika Kaisha Ltd
Saitama 350-0289, Japan
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