Chocoholics are at lower risk of strokes: study

According to a Swedish study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that looked at over 33,000 women, the more chocolate the women said they ate, the lower their risk of stroke.
Chocolate, especially dark, is known to be rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants help combat the free radicals that break down our cells, helping our body to preserve itself and stay healthy.The results raise a growing body of explanation linking cocoa absorption to heart health, but they aren’t a free pass to gorge on chocolate.

“Given the observational design of the study, results of this study cannot demonstrate that it’s chocolate that lowers the risk of stroke,” said Susanna Larsson from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, in an email to Reuters Health.

While she states chocolate has health advantages, she also informed that eating too much of it might be counterproductive.

“Chocolate should be consumed in moderation as it is high in calories, fat and sugar. As dark chocolate contains more cocoa and less sugar than milk chocolate, consumption of dark chocolate would be more beneficial.”

Larsson and her colleagues tapped into data from a mammography study that involved self-reports of just how much chocolate women ate in 1997. The women ranged in age from 49 to 83 years.

Over the next decade, there have been 1,549 strokes among the group. The more chocolate women had, the lower their threat.

Among those with the highest weekly chocolate intake, over 45 grams, there were 2.5 strokes per 1,000 women per year. That number was 7.8 per 1,000 among women who at the least, less than 8.9 grams a week.

Researchers speculate that substances known as flavonoids, in particular so-called flavanois, may be responsible for chocolate’s apparent influence on health.

According to Larsson, flavonoids have been shown to cut high blood pressure, a risk factor for strokes, and improve other blood factors linked to heart health. Whether that theoretical benefit translates to real-life benefits remains to be proven by rigorous studies, however.

Nearly 800,000 people in the United States suffer a stroke every year, with about a sixth of them dying of it and many more left disabled.

For those at high risk, doctors recommend blood pressure medicine, quitting smoking, exercising more and eating a healthier diet — but so far, chocolate isn’t on the list.

Not only Chocolate may reduce the risk of stroke, but also does eating much chocolate reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, research showed.


Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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