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Dark chocolate may help control cholesterol levels in diabetics

A new study has claimed that an ingredient of dark chocolate could assist in the control of severely high cholesterol levels, a major problem for those suffering from diabetes .
Previous research has highlighted that chocolate which contains a high level of cocoa solids rich in polyphenols may be able to reduce the risk of heart disease, and this study, published in the journal Diabetic Medicine, saw a reduction in cholesterol for a small number of diabetics given chocolate that contained a lot of the chemical.
The researchers, from Hull University, examined 12 patients with type 2 diabetes who were given identical chocolate bars, some of which were enriched with polyphenols. The patients that consumed the enriched bars experienced a small improvement in their overall cholesterol rating, with a drop in total cholesterol while the level of good cholesterol increased.
Steve Atki, who led the study, said “Chocolate with a high cocoa content should be included in the diet of individuals with type 2 diabetes as part of a sensible, balanced approach to diet and lifestyle.”
However, the charity Diabetes UK warned that these findings may mislead people into eating too much chocolate, arguing that the high fat and sugar content probably outweighed any benefits.
Dr Iain Framen, director of research at Diabetes UK, commented “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.”
He added “It would, however, be interesting to see if further research could find a way of testing whether polyphenols could be added to foods which weren’t high in sugar and saturated fat such as chocolate”.

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