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Dark Chocolate & Olive Oil – The Heart Healthy Benefits

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If you are looking for a healthy remedy for high cholesterol levels it may be found in some everyday foods you would love to include in your diet anyway. As you may have guessed by the title, we mean dark chocolate and olive oil. These two, when eaten in combination, have been shown to produce wonderful benefits.

This combination is, of course, to coexist with an otherwise healthy diet and regular exercise.

In a recent study conducted at the University of Piza, Italy where the results were so striking that they were presented during a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology in August. The conclusion was that extra virgin olive oil enriched dark chocolate consumption can lead to a better cardiovascular profile and a healthier heart.

The team began with the goal to determine if the combination of either dark chocolate & olive oil or dark chocolate & red apple might halt the progression of heart disease in otherwise healthy individuals.

Their approved press release following the experiment read as follows:

The randomized crossover study included 26 volunteers (14 men, 12 women) with at least three cardiovascular risk factors (smoking, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, or family history of cardiovascular disease) who received 40 grams of dark chocolate daily for 28 days. For 14 consecutive days it contained 10% extra virgin olive oil and for 14 consecutive days it contained 2.5% Panaia red apple. The two types of chocolate were given in random order.

Progression of atherosclerosis was assessed by metabolic changes (levels of carnitine and hippurate), lipid profile, blood pressure and levels of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). EPCs are critical for vascular repair and maintenance of endothelial function.

Blood samples were drawn both pre and post-trial. Other factors considered were body mass index, blood pressure, lipids, and smoking status. It was a 28-day trial. While the chocolate and olive oil produced amazing results the apple and chocolate fell short.

So, if you have had blood tests come back with higher than desired cholesterol levels you now have a very valid excuse to dive into some dark chocolate, just melt and mix with a little extra virgin olive oil.

For more cutting edge news on the heart and circulatory health please make sure to bookmark us and check back. Here at Tampa Cardiovascular Associates, we are dedicated to your health. If you are in the Tampa, Florida area and in need of a cardiologist we invite you to come in for a visit. www.tampacardio.com or call (813) 975-2800.

Sources include:

Health.com

ESCardio.org

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