Abstract Title:

Chocolate feeding studies: a novel approach for evaluating the plasma lipid effects of stearic acid.

Abstract Source:

Am J Clin Nutr. 1994 Dec;60(6 Suppl):1029S-1036S. PMID: 7977145

Abstract Author(s):

P M Kris-Etherton, V A Mustad

Article Affiliation:

Nutrition Department College of Health and Human Development, Pennsylvania State University, University Park 16802.


Milk chocolate does not adversely affect plasma lipids and lipoproteins despite its relatively high content of saturated fatty acids (SFAs). Evidence from well-controlled feeding studies indicates that this unique response is due to the high proportion of stearic acid in milk chocolate. In experimental diets containing very high amounts (eg, 280 g/d, or 10 oz/d) and more typical amounts (46.2 g, or 1.65 oz) of milk chocolate, plasma total- and low-density-lipoprotein-cholesterol concentrations are not elevated. Furthermore, isoenergetic substitution of one milk chocolate bar per day for a high-carbohydrate snack in a National Cholesterol Education Program/American Heart Association Step 1 Diet does not adversely affect the cholesterol-lowering response. These findings indicate that stearic acid is not hypercholesterolemic as are the other long-chain SFAs. Thus, as illustrated by the different results generated from the predictive equations that group all long-chain SFAs vs those that consider stearic acid separately, grouping stearic acid with other SFAs appears to misrepresent the actual blood cholesterol response.

Study Type : Commentary
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