One of the ingredients present in dark chocolate may help patients suffering from diabetes to bring down their cholesterol level, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease, according to findings of a new study.
Cholesterol level comes down when bars rich in this ingredient are given to diabetic patients, the study conducted by Hull University, UK showed.
Chocolate with more cocoa content should be added to the diet chart of patients suffering from type II Diabetes mellitus as a part of sensible approach to lifestyle and diet, Professor Steve Atkin, who led the study, said.
As part of the study, 12 volunteers with type II diabetes were given identical chocolate bars, some enriched with polyphenols, over a period of 16 weeks. A slight improvement was noticed among patients who were given the enriched bars, with total cholesterol level falling.
Another research paper published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) said eating small amounts of dark chocolate daily could lower blood pressure without increasing weight or causing any other health risks.
However, Diabetes UK, an organization working to improve the lives of people with diabetes, said high fat and sugar content will outweigh benefits and that outcome of such research can encourage people to have more and more chocolates, sparking off a debate on its efficacy.
The small health benefit of this particular compound in chocolate, which is rich in cocoa, will be largely outweighed by fat and sugar content, the institution said. Even chocolate bars with the highest levels of cocoa solids contain high levels of fat and sugar, and could end up doing more harm than good.
Thus, the study has led to a mixed state of mind among diabetics for they are unable to decide whether they should have dark chocolate or not.
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