Mars: Sterol chocolate reduces cholesterol levels

An industry sponsored, peer reviewed study has found consuming chocolate containing plant sterols and cocoa flavanols can lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Published in the March edition of the Journal of Nutrition, the researchers from the University of Illinois, in conjunction with Mars Inc, compared groups eating sterol and non-sterol fortified chocolate with only those eating sterol chocolate registering significantly lower levels of cholesterol. In the double-blind, placebo controlled, cross-over study, a group of 24-70 year-olds were fed Mars Inc sterol-imbued CocoaVia chocolate bars and, as part of a balanced diet, it was found that total cholesterol was lowered by two per cent and LDL cholesterol by 5.3 per cent. The CocoaVia-consuming group also recorded reduced systolic blood pressure levels of five per cent in the eight-week trial (four weeks on each chocolate form).
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