Chocolate Can Increase Good Cholesterol Levels and Benefit the Heart
According to a report published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, chocolates can protect the heart against diseases. The scientists reported that chocolates can boost up the production of HDL (High-density lipoprotein) which is a good form of cholesterol. Midori Natsume, Ph.D., noted that cocoa, which is the main ingredient in chocolates, brings down the risk of heart diseases by increasing the good cholesterol levels.
The reason behind this heart-healthy effect of cocoa lies in antioxidant compounds called polyphenols. These compounds are present abundantly in dark chocolate.The scientists studied the effects of polyphenols on cholesterol using the cultures of the human intestinal and liver cells. They found that polyphenols enhances the activity of SREBPs (proteins) which get attached to the DNA. This boosts the levels of ApoA1, a protein which is the main component of the good cholesterol. Polyphenols also increases the activity of the LDL receptors, proteins which help in lowering the levels of bad cholesterol. Thus, dark chocolate, in small proportion can do great deal of good to your heart.