Dark chocolate, olive oil combination found to protect the cardiovascular system

  by: Russel Davis Natural News:

Combining dark chocolates and olive oil could magnify both foods’ beneficial cardiovascular effects, a recent study revealed.

As part of the study, a team of researchers conducted a randomized crossover study involving 26 volunteers that exhibited at least three cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking, dyslipidemia (abnormal amount of lipids in the blood), hypertension, or family history of cardiovascular disease.

The participants received 40 grams of dark chocolate daily for 28 days. The volunteers consumed dark chocolate containing 10 percent extra virgin olive oil for 14 days. They were also given dark chocolate containing 2.5 percent Panaia red apple for another 14 days. Both chocolates were given in random order.

The researchers also observed the participants’ atherosclerosis progression by examining various factors such as lipid profile, blood pressure, metabolic changes, and circulating levels of endothelial progenitor cells (EPC). EPCs are essential in vascular repair and endothelial function.

The experts then assessed the volunteers’ urine and blood sample following the intervention. Proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to examine the urine samples, while flow cytometry was utilized to determine circulating ECPs.

Chocolate, olive oil combo shows promising results

The research team found that the olive oil-enriched dark chocolate spurred larger increased EPC concentrations compared to the apple-enriched chocolate at the end of the study. The experts likewise observed a significant decline in carnitine and hippurate levels following the consumption of dark chocolate with olive oil.

In addition, the olive oil-enriched chocolate appeared to increase the participant’s good cholesterol levels, while simultaneously reducing their blood pressure rates.

“A healthy diet is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Fruits and vegetables exert their protective effects through plant polyphenols, which are found in cocoa, olive oil, and apples…We found that small daily portions of dark chocolate with added natural polyphenols from extra virgin olive oil was associated with an improved cardiovascular risk profile. Our study suggests that extra virgin olive oil might be a good food additive to help preserve our ‘repairing cells’, the EPC,” lead author Dr. Rossella Di Stefano told Science Daily online.

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