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Food Sci Nutr. 2014 Nov;2(6):744-50. doi: 10.1002/fsn3.169. Epub 2014 Sep 17.

Reduction in blood pressure and serum lipids by lycosome formulation of dark chocolate and lycopene in prehypertension.

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Lycotec Ltd Granta Park Campus, Cambridge, CB21 6GP, United Kingdom.
Institute of Cardiology 12 Chernyshevskogo Str, Saratov, 410028, Russia.


Twenty-nine healthy volunteers aged 47-69 years old were randomly assigned to a 28-day oral intake of different dark chocolate (DC) formulations. The main group received daily 30 g of proprietary lycopene-containing (L-tug) lycosome formulation of DC with enhanced bioavailability of cocoa flavanols. Two control groups daily consumed either 30 g of regular DC alone or along with 7 mg of lycopene, which corresponds to the amount of lycopene ingested with L-tug formulation. It was found that L-tug was more efficient in reducing diastolic blood pressure (mean value of -6.22 mmHg, 95% CI: 5.00, 8.00) when compared with the regular DC group (-3.00 mmHg, P < 0.05) or the group which ingested the DC and lycopene as two separate formulations (mean reduction of -4 mmHg, 95% CI: 2.47, 6.00, P = 0.0262). Only marginal superiority for L-tug formulation in the reduction in systolic blood pressure was seen. However, the L-tug formulation was the only formulation of DC which affected serum lipids. There was a reduction in total cholesterol (from median 228.00 mg/dL [95% CI: 206.2, 242.5] to 187.00 mg/dL [95% CI: 166.2, 202.2, P < 0.05]) with corresponding decline of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (from a median of 166.00 mg/dL [95% CI: 130.8, 177.0] to 151.00 mg/dL [95% CI: 122.8, 167.4; P < 0.05]) at the end of the intervention period. Similar decline was seen in serum triglycerides (P < 0.05). Serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, glucose levels, and C-reactive protein (CRP) values remained statistically unchanged in all study groups throughout the intervention period. A superior biological activity of the L-tug lycosome formulation of DC extending beyond its antihypertensive effect to lipid-lowering ability opens up new possibilities for the use of DC for health purposes helping to reduce daily caloric intake without compromising on the health benefits of DC consumption.


Dark chocolate; lycopene; prehypertension; serum lipids

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