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    Study: Mars' CocoaVia Reduces Cholesterol Levels

    Health benefits of plant sterols touted.

    Results of a study by the University of California-Davis in the November edition of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found Mars' CocoaVia bars help lower levels of 'bad' LDL cholesterol in the blood, thanks to their plant sterol content, according to a report by FoodNavigatorUSA.com.

    Plant sterols are commonly known as a favorite ingredient among manufacturers in the functional food industry and have been used in breads, spread and chocolate. Their inclusion in the CocoaVia products, which were launched last year, has allowed Mars to market them as 'heart healthy' chocolate, according to the report.

    Researchers at the University of California-Davis tested the cholesterol of 67 men and women with elevated levels who were placed in one of two groups. One group ate a CocoaVia snack bar twice a day and the other an equivalent placebo. After six weeks, the group eating the Mars product had reduced their total cholesterol by 4.7 percent and their LDL levels dropped by an average of 6 percent.

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