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Chocolate Boost HDL
billh99 posted:
Midori Natsume, Ph.D., and colleagues note that studies have shown that cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, appears to reduce the risk of heart disease by boosting levels of HDL, or "good" cholesterol, and decreasing levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad" cholesterol. Credit for those heart-healthy effects goes to a cadre of antioxidant compounds in cocoa called polyphenols, which are particularly abundant in dark chocolate. Until now, however, nobody knew exactly how the polyphenols in cocoa orchestrated those beneficial effects.

The scientists analyzed the effects of cocoa polyphenols on cholesterol using cultures of human liver and intestinal cells. They focused on the production of apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1), a protein that is the major component of "good" cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B (ApoB), the main component of "bad" cholesterol. It turns out that cocoa polyphenols increased ApoA1 levels and decreased ApoB levels in both the liver and intestine. Further, the scientists discovered that the polyphenols seem to work by enhancing the activity of so-called sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBPs). SREBPs attach to the genetic material DNA and activate genes that boost ApoA1 levels, increasing "good" cholesterol. The scientists also found that polyphenols appear to increase the activity of LDL receptors, proteins that help lower "bad" cholesterol levels."

Here is a Valentine's Day sampler of other recent research on the health benefits chocolate published in ACS journals:

- New evidence that dark chocolate helps ease emotional stress
- Study finds that people are programmed to love chocolate
- Natural ACE inhibitors in chocolate, wine and tea may help lower blood pressure
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HbEile7 responded:
Hi Bill,

Do you know of any other foods is good to boost the HDL. Mine is low. I also have type 2 diabetes, so I have to be careful that is high in sugar.

billh99 replied to HbEile7's response:
The only other food that I know of that increases is alcohol in moderation. That would be 5 oz of wine, 12 of beer, or 1 1/2 oz of spirits. Of course that has it own problems, but all of the studies show that moderate consumption is good for you.

And the article on chocolate did not mention amount. Most studies on heart disease, in general talks about very small consumption rates, on the average.

I have been eating Lindt 85% cocoa bars. I is 3.5 oz in 10 squares. I east 1 square a day. A "serving" is 4 squares.

In that square I 4.5 gm fat, 2 gm carbs, 1.25 gram sugar.

Here is an article about boosting HDL

And I see that mention soy products.

But they also mention niacin. Niacin used to boost HDL is a medicine that is taken in 1000 - 2000 mg range and needs to be monitored.

No way are you going to get anything near there with food.
billh99 replied to billh99's response:
PS That particular chocolate is to me is bitter, but not too bitter, and then leaves a smooth rich after taste.

Some might find it too bitter, but I like it when eat with black coffee.

But I tried some while drinking a sweetened hot chocolate and it tasted so bitter I almost could not finish it.

The fat and sugar contents seems to vary a lot between bars.

I have found the Lindt at Target and World Market.

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