The effects of dark chocolate consumption on lipid profile, fasting blood sugar, liver enzymes, inflammation, and antioxidant status in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: A randomized, placebo-controlled, pilot study

pezhman alavinejad, farnaz farsi, Afshin Rezazadeh, Moosa Mahmoodi, eskandar hajiani, abdol rahim masjedizadeh, Seyed Ali Mard, niloofar neisi, hosein hoseini, Elham karimi Moghaddam, MH haghighi zadeh


Background: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an important health problem in the world and despite the rising prevalence, there is currently no satisfying therapeutic strategy for curing NAFLD. Dark chocolate (DC) is a food rich in phenolic antioxidants, which may exert favorable and modifying effects on lipid profile, insulin resistance, oxidative stress, and metabolic effects. This study aims to investigate the possible effects of DC consumption on the lipid profile, fasting blood sugar (FBS), liver transaminases (ALT, and AST), inflammatory, and antioxidant status in NAFLD patients.

Materials and Methods: In this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 42 patients with NAFLD were randomly allocated to 2 groups: the treatment group (n=21) whom received 30 gr dark chocolate (83%) daily and the control group (n=21), for a 12 weeks period.

Results: During the intervention, taking 30 gr DC (83%) daily resulted in a significant decrease in AST (P=0.012), body weight (P=0.027), and BMI (P=0.042) in the treatment group. In addition, patients who received DC had considerable changes in serum HDL (P = 0.044). However, no significant changes occurred in serum levels of ALT, hs-CRP, anthropometric measures (WC, HC, and WHR), and grades of NAFLD in both groups (P>0.05).

Conclusion: DC consumption can decrease the level of AST in patients with NAFLD and could be a potential therapeutic approach. We recommend more investigation about potential therapeutic effects of dark chocolate to be further clarified.


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; Dark chocolate; liver aminotransferases


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