Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chocolate Bar Shown To Lower Cholesterol

Date:
April 23, 2008
Source:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
The results of a new study have demonstrated an effective way to lower cholesterol levels -- by eating chocolate bars. Researchers attribute the drop in cholesterol numbers (total cholesterol by 2 percent and LDL or "bad" cholesterol by 5.3 percent) to the plant sterols that have been added to the bar and the drop in blood pressure to the flavanols found in dark chocolate.

The results of a University of Illinois study have demonstrated an effective way to lower cholesterol levels -- by eating chocolate bars.

"Eating two CocoaVia dark chocolate bars a day not only lowered cholesterol, it had the unexpected effect of also lowering systolic blood pressure," said John Erdman, a U. of I. professor of food science and human nutrition.

The study, funded in part by Mars Inc., the company that makes the bars, was published in this month's Journal of Nutrition.

Erdman attributes the drop in cholesterol numbers (total cholesterol by 2 percent and LDL or "bad" cholesterol by 5.3 percent) to the plant sterols that have been added to the bar and the drop in blood pressure to the flavanols found in dark chocolate.

Erdman says that some people will assume the study is flawed because of Mars' funding role.

"I know that it was a double-blinded trial that wasn't skewed toward a particular result," said Erdman, who chairs the Mars Scientific Advisory Council. "Moreover, the paper was peer-reviewed and published in the Journal of Nutrition, which ranks in the top 10 percent of all the biological science journals." Mars has spent millions of dollars studying the biological impact of the flavanols found in cocoa beans and learning how to retain their benefits during the refining process, Erdman said.

Forty-nine persons with slightly elevated cholesterol and normal blood pressure were recruited for the study. Those chosen for the double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study began the American Heart Association's "Eating Plan for Healthy Americans" (formerly the Step 1 diet) two weeks before the study started; then they were divided into two matched groups. Two types of CocoaVia bars were then introduced, one with plant sterols and one without.

While remaining on the AHA diet, participants ate one CocoaVia formulation twice daily for four weeks, then switched to the other bar for an additional four weeks. Blood cholesterol levels, blood pressure, body weight, and other cardiovascular measures were tracked throughout the eight-week study.

"After the participants started the AHA diet, a lot of them began to lose weight, so we had to keep fussing at them to eat more. We didn't want a weight change because that also lowers cholesterol," said Ellen Evans, a U. of I. professor of kinesiology and community health and co-author of the study.

"After starting the CocoaVia bars, we saw a marked differential effect on blood cholesterol, with the sterol-containing products doing better than those without sterols," she said.

A CocoaVia bar contains 100 calories.

Other authors of the study are LeaAnn Carson of the U. of I. and Catherine Kwik-Uribe, research manager of Mars. Dietitian Robin Allen conducted the study under Erdman's supervision. The work also was supported by a grant from the U. of I.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Chocolate Bar Shown To Lower Cholesterol." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080421114616.htm>.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2008, April 23). Chocolate Bar Shown To Lower Cholesterol. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080421114616.htm
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Chocolate Bar Shown To Lower Cholesterol." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080421114616.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins