Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cocoa - it is ok to add milk!

I like it when I look through the different abstracts that I get to find interesting bits and bobs for this blog, and come across something totally random and a bit odd.

Now I've noted before that there is now a little debate about whether or not antioxidants are really good for you or not. Well OK, but if you accept the orthodoxy you will be aware that there are occasionally stories that tell us that chocolate / cocoa is good for you because it contains all sorts of (supposedly) beneficial antioxidants and polyphenols etc. However, what happens when you make a coca drink? You put milk in! But does adding milk ruin the cocoa's benefits?

In this study scientists helpfully thought about that and decided to see whether or not adding milk was a good or a bad thing in terms of the antioxidants. Fascinating! Read on:

The effect of milk protein on the bioavailability of cocoa polyphenols.

In order to determine whether milk proteins interact with cocoa polyphenols to modulate the uptake and concentration of polyphenols in plasma, 24 middle-aged men and women consumed 2 g of chocolate polyphenols, plus sugar and cocoa butter in 200 mL water, on 2 occasions. On 1 occasion, the chocolate mix contained 2.45 g of milk proteins. Blood samples were taken fasting and at regular intervals for 8 h. Catechin and epicatechins levels were measured in these samples and no differences were seen in average concentrations between the 2 treatments. Milk protein caused a slight increase in concentration at the early time points and a decrease at the later time points. In conclusion, milk powder did not influence the average concentration of polyphenols. While it slightly accelerated absorption, this is of no physiological significance.

So, you can rest easy.....adding milk to your cocoa is OK!

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