As you probably may well know, your lipid profile is of importance for cardiovascular disease. Especially a high cholesterol level is considered to be a risk factor for coronary artery disease. The efficacy of cocoa in reducing blood pressure and other positive effects on cardiovascular risk factors have been discussed on this blog for some time now. Also a lot of hypothesis for the working of cocoa and how these positive effect of cocoa come about are frequently posted (Yes I like dark chocolate). Now wouldn’t it be fun if chocolate also reduces the blood cholesterol level.
A recent systematic review of 8 trials involving 215 participants revealed that only those with cardiovascular risk factors (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure) who consumed low doses of chocolate there was a cholesterol lowering effect of chocolate. Chocolate did not influence the blood cholesterol level in healthy subjects. There was no dose response relationship.
Disappointed? No, from this study we might conclude that chocolate is not a forbidden fruit for those with cardiovascular risk factors and in all the others it’s not making the lipid profile worse and it may potentially benefit our health. Moreover, this is only for the short term effect (6 weeks), who knows when you look for a longer period of time.
Moderate cocoa consumption may make blood cholesterol move in a healthy direction, whereas higher cocoa consumption may not affect lipid profile
Did it say moderate consumption? But what is moderate consumption?
Lei Jia,, Xuan Liu,, Yong Yi Bai,, Shao Hua Li,, Kai Sun, Chen He,, & Rutai Hui (2010). Short-term effect of cocoa product consumption on lipid profile: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials Am J Clin Nutr