Chocolate consumption may reduce stroke risk in men
Those who consume chocolate in moderate amount has a reason to cheer as researchers have found that their love for chocolate may results in lowering lower risk of stroke in men.
The researchers found that men in the study who consumed the largest amount of chocolate, about one-third of a cup of chocolate chips (63 grams), showed a reduced risk of stroke in comparison to who did not consume chocolate at all.
"While other studies have looked at how chocolate may help cardiovascular health, this is the first of its kind study to find that chocolate, may be beneficial for reducing stroke in men," study author Susanna C. Larsson, PhD, with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden has been quo ted as saying.
The study was performed on 37,103 Swedish men ages 49 to 75. These men were given a food questionnaire that assessed their food and drink habits in addition to the chocolate consumption. Researchers then analyzed stroke cases through a hospital discharge registry. Over 10 years, there were 1,995 cases of first stroke.
The researchers found that those with highest amount of chocolate had a reduced risk of stroke, or 12 fewer strokes per 100,000 person-years in comparison to those who ate no chocolate. Person-years are the total number of years that each participant was under observation.
Further a broader study comprising five studies that included 4,260 stroke cases was conducted, that showed the risk of stroke for individuals in the highest category of chocolate consumption was 19 percent in comparison to those not eating chocolate. The researchers found 14 percent decrease in heart stroke with 50 grams per week increase in chocolate consumption.
"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," Larsson has been quoted as saying.
"Interestingly, dark chocolate has previously been associated with heart health benefits, but about 90 percent of the chocolate intake in Sweden, including what was consumed during our study, is milk chocolate," Larsson stated.
Online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology has published this study.
--with inputs from ANI
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