EVOO-Enriched Chocolate Benefits People With Type 2 Diabetes, Study Finds

Researchers found that patients with type 2 diabetes could benefit from eating chocolate enriched with EVOO by decreasing their risk of developing atherosclerosis.
May. 10, 2021
Clarissa Joshua

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A new study has con­firmed that choco­late enriched with extra vir­gin olive oil improves endothe­lial func­tion and oxida­tive stress in patients with type 2 dia­betes mel­li­tus.

Endothelial dys­func­tion and oxida­tive stress are some of the most impor­tant mech­a­nisms under­ly­ing the ath­er­o­scle­rotic process in type 2 dia­betes, mean­ing these patients are at a high risk of devel­op­ing sys­temic ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis.

Atherosclerosis is a dis­ease whereby plaque forms inside the arter­ies. Eventually, this leads to the nar­row­ing of the arter­ies and impacts the amount of oxy­gen-rich blood that flows to the organs and around the body.

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The study was con­ducted by researchers from the Sapienza University of Rome and the Mediterranea Cardiocentro in Naples.

The aim of our study was to assess the effect of extra vir­gin olive oil in addi­tion to choco­late on endothe­lial func­tion and oxida­tive stress in dia­betic patients,” Roberto Carnevale and Lorenzo Loffredo from the Sapienza University of Rome told Olive Oil Times.


They decided not to use a high cocoa con­tent as is seen in dark choco­late.

A higher dose of cocoa (e.g., greater than 85 per­cent), as pre­vi­ously we pub­lished, could hide the effect of extra vir­gin olive oil on endothe­lial dys­func­tion and oxida­tive stress,” the two said. Thus, we used low cocoa con­cen­tra­tion with or with­out extra vir­gin olive oil to bet­ter eval­u­ate these effects.”

The researchers also used an equal amount of sugar in both choco­late spreads used.

The study involved 25 peo­ple with type 2 dia­betes who were ran­dom­ized to receive either 40 grams of extra vir­gin olive oil-enriched choco­late spread or 40 grams of con­trol choco­late spread.

See Also:High-Polyphenol EVOO May Lower Risk of Vascular Diseases Associated with Diabetes

Endothelial func­tion was assessed by arte­r­ial brachial flow-medi­ated dila­tion and oxida­tive stress was eval­u­ated by mea­sur­ing serum NADPH oxidase‑2 acti­va­tion (a key enzyme of ath­er­o­scle­rotic pro­gres­sion), nitric oxide avail­abil­ity (a marker of endothe­lial dys­func­tion) and serum hydro­gen per­ox­ide break-down activ­ity (a marker that eval­u­ates the antiox­i­dant sta­tus).

The patients were assessed at base­line and again two hours after eat­ing the choco­late.

The research team observed a sig­nif­i­cant increase in arte­r­ial brachial flow-medi­ated dila­tion, nitric oxide avail­abil­ity and hydro­gen per­ox­ide break-down activ­ity in the group that ingested the extra vir­gin olive oil-enriched choco­late spread. Conversely, NADPH oxidase‑2 acti­va­tion lev­els sig­nif­i­cantly decreased in this group.

The results demon­strated that choco­late-enriched with extra vir­gin olive oil pos­i­tively impacted patients by increas­ing endothe­lial func­tion and reduc­ing oxida­tive stress in type 2 dia­betes patients.

The find­ings are promis­ing for patients with type 2 dia­betes. Considering that approx­i­mately 415 mil­lion peo­ple live with dia­betes around the world, stud­ies like this are invalu­able.

Furthermore, type 2 dia­betes is one of the most com­mon and essen­tial fac­tors for devel­op­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease. If endothe­lial dys­func­tion and oxida­tive stress can be improved, the risk of devel­op­ing ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis could decrease.

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