There is some speculation that dietary flavonoids from chocolate, in particular (−)epicatechin, may promote cardiovascular health as a result of direct antioxidant effects or through antithrombotic mechanisms1,2,3. Here we show that consumption of plain, dark chocolate (Fig. 1) results in an increase in both the total antioxidant capacity and the (−)epicatechin content of blood plasma, but that these effects are markedly reduced when the chocolate is consumed with milk or if milk is incorporated as milk chocolate. Our findings indicate that milk may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate in vivo and may therefore negate the potential health benefits that can be derived from eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate may offer its consumers health benefits the milk variety cannot match.