The lipid content of chocolate is relatively high, yet around one-third of the lipid in cocoa butter is composed of the fat, stearic acid, which exerts a neutral cholesterolaemic response in humans by an unknown mechanism (Kris-Etherton et al 1993, Steinberg et al 2003). Cocoa butter, however, is considered a high calorie fat because it has a high digestibility with a digestible energy value of 37 kJ/g in humans (Shahkhalili et al 2000). The results of a randomised, double-blind crossover design supplementation study suggest that the addition of calcium to chocolate can significantly reduce the absorption of cocoa butter, thus reducing the absorbable energy value of the chocolate by approximately 9% while at the same time reducing the plasma LDL-cholesterol level and leaving the plasma HDL-cholesterol level and taste of the chocolate unchanged (Shahkhalili et al 2001).

Although there are some short-term studies demonstrating that cocoa flavanols can reduce serum LDL (Fraga et al 2005, Grassi et al 2005) and increase HDL (Mursu et al 2004, Wan et al 2001), long-term clinical trials are needed to determine its role in the clinical treatment of hypercholesterolemia.

Cocoa bran may also have a use in hypercholestrolaemia, as well as constipation, because this low-fat, high-fibre material has been shown in a randomised, controlled, double-blind study to increase faecal bulk similarly to wheat bran and reduce the LDiyHDL-cholesterol ratio, with no effect on LDL-cholesterol oxidation (Jenkins et al 2000).

Constipation Prescription

Constipation Prescription

Did you ever think feeling angry and irritable could be a symptom of constipation? A horrible fullness and pressing sharp pains against the bladders can’t help but affect your mood. Sometimes you just want everyone to leave you alone and sleep to escape the pain. It is virtually impossible to be constipated and keep a sunny disposition. Follow the steps in this guide to alleviate constipation and lead a happier healthy life.

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