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Dark Chocolate and obesity



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A description of the experience

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2013 Aug;17(16):2257-66. Effects of dark chocolate in a population of Normal Weight Obese women: a pilot study. Di Renzo L, Rizzo M, Sarlo F, Colica C, Iacopino L, Domino E, Sergi D, De Lorenzo A. Department of Neuroscience, Division of Human Nutrition, University of Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy. delorenzo@uniroma2.it.

BACKGROUND: Normal weight obese (NWO) syndrome is defined as an excessive body fat associated with a normal body mass index and characterized by a higher risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Recent studies have demonstrated that dark chocolate (DC) has beneficial effects in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

AIM: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of DC consumption on lipid profile, inflammatory markers, biochemical parameters, and blood pressure, in NWO women.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: 15 women affected by NWO syndrome, aged 20-40 years, were included in the study. After a DC-free washout period, subjects received DC (100 g/die) containing 70% cocoa for 7-days. Body composition by Dual energy-X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was performed at baseline. Blood pressure, anthropometric measurements, biochemical parameters and plasma levels of some cytokines were measured before and after DC consumption.

RESULTS: After DC consumption, we observed a significant increase in the HDL cholesterol level (Delta% = +10.41±13,53; p ≤ 0.05), a significant decrease of total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio (Delta %= -11.45±7.03; p ≤ 0.05), LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio (Delta % = -11.70±8.91; p ≤ 0.05), and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) (Delta % = -32.99±3.84; p ≤ 0.05). In addition, a reduction in abdomen circumference was observed. We also found a positive correlation between changes in atherogenic indices, and IL-1Ra, abdomen reduction.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that regular consumption of DC could be useful in maintaining a good atherogenic profile, due to the favourable effects on HDL cholesterol, lipoprotein ratios and inflammation markers.

PMID: 23893195

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