Chocolate could reduce risk of stroke, research says
EATING chocolate may reduce the long-term risk of stroke, research has shown.
Men who ate moderate amounts of chocolate each week were less likely to suffer a stroke over a period of ten years than those who ate none.
The difference was small, but significant. Study participants who ate the most chocolate, equivalent to one third of a cup of chocolate chips, reduced their stroke risk by 17 per cent.
A total of 37,103 Swedish men aged 49 to 75 took part in the study. Their diets were assessed with food questionnaires, which asked how often they ate chocolate.
The men’s progress was then followed for ten years, during which researchers recorded 1,995 cases of a first stroke.
Previous studies have shown that chocolate may help prevent diabetes, control blood pressure, and protect against heart disease.
Antioxidant plant chemicals called flavonoids are thought to explain the health benefits.
Dr Susanna Larsson, from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, who led the latest research, reported in the journal Neurology, said: “Flavonoids appear to be protective against cardiovascular disease through antioxidant, anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory properties.”
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