Chocolate helps cholesterol levels and here's how
Researchers now understand chocolate is heart healthy because it raises good HDL cholesterol levels.
In a new analysis, scientists discovered dark chocolate boosts activity of proteins in the body that is a major component of "good" HDL cholesterol.
In addition to raising levels of good cholesterol, chocolate also lowers levels of "bad" LDL particles - low density lipoproteins.
The study that appears in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows how cocoa, the main ingredient in dark chocolate contributes to heart health. the specific protein boosted by the confection is apolipoprotein A1 in HDL cholesterol molecules.
When the researchers looked at apolipoprotein B, a component of bad or LDL cholesterol, they found chocolate was able to lower levels of the heart unfriendly type of cholesterol.
The heart healthy benefits associated with cholesterol levels found in chocolate were discovered through tests conducted on human liver and intestinal cell cultures.
The polyphenols attach to DNA genetic material by enhancing the activity of so-called sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBPs). Cocoa in chocolate in turn lowers bad cholesterol levels and boosts good cholesterol, explaining the heart healthy benefits.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
"Cacao Polyphenols Influence the Regulation of Apolipoprotein in HepG2 and Caco2 Cells"