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Nutrition: Milk and absorption of dietary flavanols

Date Published: 
Thursday, December 18, 2003

Nature 2003, 426 (6968), 787-8; discussion 788.

Authors: 
​Schroeter, H.; Holt, R. R.; Orozco, T. J.; Schmitz, H. H.; Keen, C. L.
Brief: 

Flavanol compounds in wine, cocoa products and tea can exert a cardioprotective effect, for example by influencing endothelial-cell function1, antithrombic mechanisms2 and blood pressure3, 4. Serafini et al. 5 claim that consuming dark chocolate, but not milk chocolate or dark chocolate together with milk, increases the antioxidant capacity of human plasma, and suggest that interaction between milk proteins and chocolate flavonoids inhibits the in vivo antioxidant activity of chocolate and the absorption of epicatechin into the bloodstream. This inference could have implications beyond chocolate consumption if dairy products do indeed counteract the putative health benefits of dietary flavanols.