A 3-week clinical supplementation trial of 45 non-smoking, healthy volunteers consuming high-polyphenol chocolate found a significant increase in serum HDL-cholesterol with dark and high polyphenol chocolate (11.4% and 13.7%, respectively), whereas white chocolate consumption resulted in a small decrease in HDL. Markers of lipid peroxidation decreased 11.9% in all three study groups with no changes occurring in the total antioxidant capacity of plasma, in the oxidation susceptibility of serum lipids or VLDL and LDL, or in the concentration of plasma F2-isoprostanes or hydroxy fatty acids. This suggests that while cocoa polyphenols may increase the concentration of HDL-cholesterol, chocolate fatty acids may modify the fatty acid composition of LDL, making it more resistant to oxidative damage (Mursu et al 2004).
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