Published by Helping Hands on
30 August 2012
Could chocolate protect against stroke?
Sounds crazy but according to Swedish scientists who studied 37,000 men over a ten year period, those who consumed the most chocolate were the least likely to have a stroke.
Eating a modest amount of chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, has previously been suggested a possible way to improve the health of the heart; but this is the first study to suggest a link between chocolate and stroke prevention.
Needless to say, researchers were at pains to say that the findings were not excuse to overeat chocolate.
Prof Susanna Larsson, who is a scientist with the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said: “The beneficial effect of chocolate consumption on stroke may be related to the flavonoids in chocolate. Flavonoids appear to be protective against cardiovascular disease through antioxidant, anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory properties.
“It’s also possible that flavonoids in chocolate may decrease blood concentrations of bad cholesterol and reduce blood pressure.”
The study also noted that while dark chocolate had been linked to benefits for the heart in the past, milk chocolate was the preferred option in Sweden and in the study.
The Stroke Association said the study should not be seen as a reason to replace regular exercise and a well balanced diet with chocolate.