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Studies On Health Benefits Of Cocoa Are Mostly Inconclusive, Researchers Find

May 26, 2010: 09:06 AM EST
Scientists in China who looked at the results of eight clinical studies found that people with conditions like diabetes that put them at risk for heart disease could reduce levels of “bad cholesterol” (LDL) and total cholesterol somewhat by eating moderate amounts of cocoa. But they also found that healthy people got no cholesterol-lowering benefits from cocoa. The portion of cocoa containing 260 milligrams of polyphenols or less seemed to be the optimum amount for health benefit. The researchers concluded that “short-term cocoa consumption significantly reduced blood cholesterol” but cautioned that there were inconsistencies in trial results that might be cleared up with larger studies over longer periods of time.
Lei Jia, Xuan Liu, Yong Yi Bai, Shao Hua Li, Kai Sun, Chen He and Rutai Hui, "Short-term effect of cocoa product consumption on lipid profile: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials", The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 26, 2010, © American Society for Nutrition
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