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New study shows chocolate may lower cholesterol levels

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

It may sound too good to be true, but a daily serving of dark chocolate may have strong cardiovascular benefits for individuals who have received unhealthy cholesterol test results, according to a new study.

Researchers from San Diego State University found that people who ate a daily serving of dark chocolate showed improvements in their levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol and beneficial HDL cholesterol. These improvements were strongest in participants who consumed chocolate with the highest percentage of cocoa.

In the study, the team measured participants' cholesterol levels then randomly assigned individuals to eat a daily serving of dark chocolate, which has high levels of cocoa, or white chocolate, which has no cocoa. After 12 days, the researchers administered cholesterol tests again.

Results showed that those in the dark chocolate group improved their cholesterol numbers significantly from the start of the study. This effect was not seen in the white chocolate group.

The team said dark chocolate is rich in a type of antioxidant known as flavanols. These nutrients have been shown to reduce inflammation and stabilize metabolic processes. This may account for the benefits observed in the study. 

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