High-cocoa polyphenol-rich chocolate improves HDL cholesterol in Type 2 diabetes patients

Diabet Med. 2010 Nov;27(11):1318-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2010.03108.x.


Aim: To examine the effects of chocolate on lipid profiles, weight and glycaemic control in individuals with Type 2 diabetes.

Methods: Twelve individuals with Type 2 diabetes on stable medication were enrolled in a randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind crossover study. Subjects were randomized to 45 g chocolate with or without a high polyphenol content for 8 weeks and then crossed over after a 4-week washout period. Changes in weight, glycaemic control, lipid profile and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein were measured at the beginning and at the end of each intervention.

Results: HDL cholesterol increased significantly with high polyphenol chocolate (1.16 ± 0.08 vs. 1.26 ± 0.08 mmol/l, P = 0.05) with a decrease in the total cholesterol: HDL ratio (4.4 ± 0.4 vs. 4.1 ± 0.4 mmol/l, P = 0.04). No changes were seen with the low polyphenol chocolate in any parameters. Over the course of 16 weeks of daily chocolate consumption neither weight nor glycaemic control altered from baseline.

Conclusion: High polyphenol chocolate is effective in improving the atherosclerotic cholesterol profile in patients with diabetes by increasing HDL cholesterol and improving the cholesterol:HDL ratio without affecting weight, inflammatory markers, insulin resistance or glycaemic control.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cacao / metabolism*
  • Candy
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenols / metabolism*
  • Polyphenols


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Polyphenols
  • C-Reactive Protein