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The Effect of Milk Protein on the Bioavailability of Cocoa Polyphenols



ABSTRACT:  In order to determine whether milk proteins interact with cocoa polyphenols to modulate the uptake and concentration of polyphenols in plasma, 24 middle-aged men and women consumed 2 g of chocolate polyphenols, plus sugar and cocoa butter in 200 mL water, on 2 occasions. On 1 occasion, the chocolate mix contained 2.45 g of milk proteins. Blood samples were taken fasting and at regular intervals for 8 h. Catechin and epicatechins levels were measured in these samples and no differences were seen in average concentrations between the 2 treatments. Milk protein caused a slight increase in concentration at the early time points and a decrease at the later time points. In conclusion, milk powder did not influence the average concentration of polyphenols. While it slightly accelerated absorption, this is of no physiological significance.