An Italian research team has shown that the delicious gianduja chocolate that combines cocoa and hazelnuts is a precious ally of our heart, as it improves the elasticity of the arteries. The beneficial effect was demonstrated with an experiment conducted on twenty smokers. Milk chocolate does not offer the same benefit.

The gianduja chocolate is a panacea for our arteries thanks to its ability to make them more elastic. An Italian research team led by scholars of the Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Specialties of Sapienza University of Rome, who collaborated with the colleagues of Latina and of the Department of AngioCardioNeurology of the IRCCS NeuroMed of Pozzilli, demonstrated this virtuous property of the delicious chocolate, invented in Piedmont in the Nineteenth century mixing cocoa and hazelnuts.

The scientists, coordinated by Professor Francesco Volpi, director at the Department of Internal Medicine of the Policlinico Umberto I of Rome, came to this conclusion after conducting a single-blind crossover study with twenty smokers. The participants were divided into two randomly selected groups: the first was assigned the consumption of 60 grams of milk chocolate (with a cocoa content of less than 35 percent), the second 60 grams of gianduja spreadable cream. Two hours after the ingestion of the chocolate they were all subjected to specific tests of the arteries, able to evaluate the oxidation state (for example by measuring the levels of vitamin E and the polyphenols), the oxidative stress and the fundamental value of the flow-mediated dilation (FMD). It is a parameter related to the dilation of an artery when it increases the blood flow inside it; it is in practice a measurement of its elasticity.

Analysis of the data showed that those who consumed gianduja showed an improvement in the elasticity of the arteries, thanks to an increase in nitric oxide (NO) – which is the basis of FMD – and the reduction of oxidative stress. This benefit was not observed in the group that had eaten milk chocolate. As hardening of the arteries is one of the most dangerous consequences for those who smoke, catalyzing the risk of developing serious cardiovascular events, the consumption of the gianduja chocolate could be a precious ally. Naturally always under the afvice of your doctor, considering the nutritional values of the product.

The benefits of dark chocolate for heart health have been proven by numerous researches, as well as those offered by dried fruit. Since both foods are present in gianduja chocolate, a protective factor was likely to emerge. Today this has been demonstrated by Italian research, whose details have been published in the scientific journal Internal and Emergency Medicine.