According to a new study conducted by scientists at the Department of Clinical Internal, Anesthesiologic and Cardiovascular Sciences, the Department of General Surgery and Surgical Speciality Paride Stefanini and the Department of Medical-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies at the Sapienza University of Rome, as well as the Mediterranea Cardiocentro, Napoli, in Italy, patients with type 2 diabetes could benefit from eating chocolate enriched with extra virgin olive oil.
Research objective & procedures
Endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress are among the most relevant mechanisms underlying the atherosclerotic process in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Extra virgin olive oil reduces post-prandial glycemia. Therefore, scientists wanted to evaluate if the intake of chocolate enriched by EVOO had positive effects on endothelial function and oxidative stress in T2DM patients.
For that reason, 25 consecutive T2DM patients were enrolled and randomized to receive 40g EVOO-enriched chocolate or 40g control chocolate spread. Both spreads had an equal amount of sugar. Participants were assessed at baseline and two hours after chocolate intake. Endothelial function was assessed by arterial brachial flow-mediated dilation (FMD); oxidative stress was evaluated by the measurement of serum NADPH oxidase-2 (Nox2) levels, nitric oxide availability and serum hydrogen peroxide break-down activity (HBA).
Administration of 40g of EVOO-enriched chocolate was found to be associated with increased endothelial function and reduction of oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients. The findings are promising for patients with type 2 diabetes, especially since 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.
More on Greek extra virgin olive oil.