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Eat Chocolate to Lower Stroke Risk

Tuesday, 16 Feb 2010 07:55 AM

Need another reason to feel less guilty eating chocolate? Stroke prevention can now be added to the tasty treat's impressive resume of health benefits that include a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. And if you have suffered a stroke, regularly indulging in chocolate before the stroke may lower your risk of dying.

The good news centers around two new studies. The first found that 44,489 people who ate one serving of chocolate each week lowered their risk of having a stroke 22 percent as opposed to people who didn't eat chocolate.

A second study found that 1,169 people who ate 50 grams (less than two ounces — about the size of a regular candy bar) of chocolate each week slashed their risk of dying following a stroke by 46 percent when compared to those who ate no chocolate.

"More research is needed to determine whether chocolate truly lowers stroke risk, or whether healthier people are simply more likely to eat chocolate than others," said study author Sarah Sahib, BScCA, with McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, in a statement. Sahib worked alongside Gustavo Saposnik, MD, MSc, where the study was completed at St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto.

Chocolate's protective benefits may be due to its high amounts of compounds called flavanoids which may increase blood flow.

"More and more research is showing that [eating chocolate] is really more beneficial than we ever imagined," said Katherine Tallmadge a registered dietician and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association told Fox News.

Still, there's a major downside to most chocolate, so don't give into the temptation to gorge. "Eating too much chocolate can make you fat as chocolate also contains saturated fats," Dr. Saposnik warned in the London Telegraph.

© HealthDay

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Need another reason to feel less guilty eating chocolate? Stroke prevention can now be added to chocolate's impressive resume of health benefits
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Tuesday, 16 Feb 2010 07:55 AM
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