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Chocolate Contains Useful Antioxidants
Washington DC, 27 February 2002

According to recent nutrition research, chocolate contains antioxidants that can help reduce health risks.

A Harvard University publication, the Harvard Women's Health Watch, reports in its current issue on a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finding that diet supplemented with chocolate products can slow oxidation of LDL or "bad" cholesterol and can increase the level of HDL or "good" cholesterol.

The dietary supplements added were cocoa powder and dark chocolate, the Harvard health newsletter said. "Cocoa and chocolate, produced from cacao beans, contain high amounts of polyphenols and other flavonoids, naturally occurring antioxidants whose effects are associated with reduced cardiovascular risk," it said.

"Other research suggests that high levels of certain flavonoids found especially in dark chocolate may slow blood platelet aggregation, another heart health benefit. Chocolate also contains several important minerals. And it doesn't cause acne."

Scientists in Switzerland also found that test volunteers who ate two chocolate bars a day reduced the absorption of fat when their intake was accompanied by calcium.

"Over a two-week period, those who ate chocolate laced with calcium absorbed 13 percent less chocolate-derived fat (and 9 percent fewer calories) than those who ate plain chocolate," the Harvard Women's Health Watch reported. At the same time, LDL or "bad" cholesterol fell by 15 percent.

The publication explained that calcium apparently binds with the fatty acids in chocolate, making those acids more difficult for the body to absorb.


Foods for the Future, via PRNewsWire.com, 27 February 2002. Based on study published in the Harvard Women's Health Watch and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.end-of-story


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