Milk Chocolate for Stroke Prevention in Men
Studies have shown that the consumption of dark chocolate is associated with lower risk of heart disease and improvement in brain function, particularly boosting memory.
Researchers led by Susanna C. Larsson, PhD, from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden recently discovered that eating a moderate amount of chocolate each week may be associated with a lower risk of stroke in men. The study, which was published online in Neurology, is the first of its kind study to demonstrate the beneficial effects of milk chocolate in reducing the incidence of stroke in men, according to Larsson.
The study included more that 37,000 Swedish men ages 49 to 75 who answered a food questionnaire that evaluated how often they consumed various foods and drinks, including chocolate. Over a period of 10 years, the incidences of stroke in these men were identified using a hospital discharge registry, which revealed that almost 2,000 men experienced stroke for the first time.
Analysis of data revealed that men who ate the largest amount of chocolate (about 63 grams, equivalent to one-third of a cup of chocolate chips) per week had a 17% lower risk of stroke compared to those who did not consume any chocolate.
Upon analyzing other five studies that included more than 4,000 stroke cases, it was found that the risk of stroke for individuals with the highest amount of chocolate consumption was 19% lower compared to non-chocolate eaters.
Ninety percent of chocolate intake in Sweden, including that which was consumed in the study is milk chocolate. Larsson explains that the benefits of chocolate consumption may be related to the antioxidant effects of flavonoids in chocolate which appear to be protective against cardiovascular disease due to their anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory properties. She adds that it is also possible that flavonoids decrease bad cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure.
American Academy of Neurology. Chocolate: A sweet method for stroke prevention in men?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
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