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Ghana Med J. 2009 Dec;43(4):164-8.

Effects of the intake of natural cocoa powder on some biochemical and haematological indices in the rat.

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  • 1Department Of Biochemistry, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana.



Natural cocoa and cocoa products are increasingly attracting the attention of many investigators and the general public because of their potential nutritional and medicinal properties and other claims.


This study sought to evaluate the effect the consumption of natural cocoa powder has on some biochemical and hematological indices in the rat, as a way of establishing the biochemical basis for some of the claims made for the consumption of cocoa and its products.


Male Wistar albino rats were fed natural cocoa powder in an aqueous suspension for 48 days, Biochemical and haematological indices were then determined from blood samples.


The treatment had no significant effect on ALT, AST, ALP, uric acid, total protein, haemoglobin and haematocrit levels. However, there were significant reductions in the total cholesterol level (2.52 ± 0.07 mmol/L) versus (1.88 ± 0.23 mmol/L), LDL - cholesterol level (1.09 ± 0.03 m mol/L) versus (0.74 ± 0.06 m mol/L), and in triglyceride level (1.28 ± 0.15 m mol/L) versus (1.08 ± 0.04 m mol/L) after treatment (p <0.05). The results further indicated significant increases in white blood cell (7.53 ± 0.19 × 10(3)/mm(3)) versus (10.40 ± 1.66 × 10(3)/mm(3)) and platelet counts (379± 112.0× 10(3)/mm(3)) versus (583.8±11.4× 10(3)/mm(3)).


The administration of natural cocoa powder to rats caused significant reductions in total serum cholesterol levels, LDL-cholesterol levels and triglycerides with a significant increase in white blood cell counts.


Cocoa powder; alanine aminotransferase; alkaline phosphatase; aspartate aminotransferase; lipid profile

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