It turns out that eating chocolate may bring some health benefits after all; previous studies showed that it was good for the heart, and new research published in Neurology suggests that, at least in men, it may reduce the chances of suffering a stroke.
The paper is based on a follow-up of more than 37,000 Swedish men during a decade. The results showed that those who ate the most chocolate (a weekly average of 63 grams) were 17% less likely to have a stroke than those who ate no chocolate at all.
‘The beneficial effect of chocolate consumption on stroke may be related to the flavonoids in chocolate,’ says co-author Prof Susanna Larsson of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. ‘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 researchers, however, emphasize that chocolate should be eaten in moderation, as it is often high in sugar, saturated fat and calories.
Susanna C. Larsson, Jarmo Virtamo, & Alicja Wolk (2012). Chocolate consumption and risk of stroke: A prospective cohort of men and meta-analysis Neurology DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31826aacfa
Chocolate and Health
Editors: Ario Conti, Rodolfo Paoletti, Andrea Poli, Francesco Visioli