Dark chocolates may help diabetics control their dangerously high cholesterol levels, a new study has claimed. Researchers at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom (UK) found that polyphenol, an ingredient found in chocolates with high levels of cocoa solids, cuts cholesterol levels in a small number of diabetics.
In the study, a total of 12 volunteers with Type II diabetes were given identical chocolate bars, some enriched with polyphenols, over a 16 week period. Those given the enriched bars, experienced a small improvement in their overall cholesterol “profile”, with total cholesterol falling and levels of so-called “good” cholesterol-rising.
However, there were some concerns from experts at Diabetes UK — a leading health charity in UK. They pointed out that even bars with the highest levels of cocoa solids would contain high levels of fat and sugar.
Dr Iain Frame, director of research at Diabetes UK, said he was unconvinced by the new study. “On no account should people take away the message from this study, conducted in only 12 people, that eating even a small amount of dark chocolate is going to help reduce their cholesterol levels.
The tiny health benefit of this compound found in cocoa-rich chocolate would be hugely outweighed by the fat and sugar content, he said.