Cocoa Lowers The Level Of "bad" Cholesterol

Time for reading: ~2 minutes Last Updated: March 21, 2023
Cocoa Lowers The Level Of "bad" Cholesterol

Eating large amounts of cocoa products, such as chocolate or sweetened milk with cocoa, does not have a similar positive effect ...

Regular consumption of cocoa can lower the level of "bad" cholesterol, according to a study by Chinese scientists.


A team of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and the Beijing Union Medical College analyzed the results of several separate research projects that studied the effect of cocoa on blood cholesterol levels.


A total of eight studies examining the short-term effect of cocoa consumption (with a high percentage of cocoa) were studied. The results are based on data collected from a total of 215 volunteers.


A detailed analysis of all the data showed that the content of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood - sometimes called "bad cholesterol", as well as the levels of total cholesterol in volunteers consuming cocoa and cocoa products was lower by an average of 4% . However, the content of HDL (good cholesterol) in the two groups did not differ significantly.


Scientists point out that cholesterol is an extremely important building block of the cell membrane important for the proper functioning of cells in the body. There are generally 3 types of cholesterol, depending on lipoproteins.

  • low-density lipoprotein (LDL) - sometimes called "bad cholesterol". They transport cholesterol to different parts of the body, where it is deposited in the vessels. LDL causes the accumulation of cholesterol in the blood vessels.
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL) - called "good cholesterol" - helps clear cholesterol from the body.
  • very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) - composed mainly of triglycerides, low protein and cholesterol.


The presence of low levels of LDL and high levels of HDL is desirable to reduce the risk of atherosclerotic plaque formation and the development of angina pectoris due to changes in the coronary vessels (the vessels that supply the heart muscle with blood).

The authors of the study are of the opinion that the level of total cholesterol and the level of "bad" cholesterol decreases only when people consume cocoa products in small quantities. In addition, these beneficial effects of taking cocoa products are observed only in people who are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

"Consumption of cocoa and cocoa products in moderation can improve blood lipid balance. However, these are products with a high percentage of cocoa and a minimum content of sugar and fat. It is important to note that eating large amounts of cocoa products, such as chocolate or sweetened milk with cocoa, does not have such a positive effect. "- Scientists say.

The results of the study were published in the June issue of the  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition .

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