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Dark chocolate added with extra virgin olive oil lowers cardiovascular risk, a new research suggests. Dark chocolate enriched with olive oil is found to be associated with an improved cardiovascular risk profile.

Dark chocolate added with extra virgin olive oil lowers cardiovascular risk, according to a new research. It states that both are associated with an improved cardiovascular risk profile.

Researchers conducted a study to test the link between consumption of dark chocolate enriched with olive oil or Panaia red apple with atherosclerosis progression in healthy participants with cardiovascular risk components.

Fruits and vegetables exert their protective effects through plant polyphenols and the Italian Panaia red apple includes higher levels of polyphenols and antioxidants.

The study included 26 individuals with at least three cardiovascular risk factors including smoking, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, or family history of cardiovascular disease. They were told to consume 40 grams of dark chocolate daily for 28 days. For 14 consecutive days, they ate chocolate enriched with 10% extra virgin olive oil and for 14 consecutive days with 2.5% Panaia red apple.

Researchers analyzed their atherosclerosis progression through metabolic changes, blood pressure, levels of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), and lipid profile.

After 28 days, they found that the dark chocolate enriched with extra virgin olive oil was associated with significantly increased EPC levels and lowered carnitine and hippurate levels as compared to apple-enriched chocolate consumption.

“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,” said lead author Dr. Rossella Di Stefano, a cardiologist at the University of Pisa, Italy.

 

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