Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chocolate Protects Against Stroke

You know when Swedish scientists do a study, you'd better listen.  They study everything it seems.  And now the latest, joyful news for chocolate lovers:

A small piece of chocolate a day lessens the risk of getting stroke in men with all of 20 percent, according to a study done at the Karolinska Institute. And for the first time, researchers say that it doesn’t have to be dark chocolate, that dark chocolate can be good for us, is known previously. The latest study, which included 37 000 men, shows that light as well as dark chocolate protect men against stroke. The research team asked the men, ages 49-75, to fill in a questionnaire about their food habits, and included were questions regarding how often and how much chocolate they consumed. Ten years later, as the researchers put their answers together with the Socialstyrelsen’s (The National Board of Health and Welfare) patient register, nearly 2000 of the men had suffered a stroke. And it turns out stroke is more common among those who abstained from chocolate. The men who ate the most chocolate, around half a bar of chocolate a week, had the least risk of suffering a stroke. “We have no proof that eating more chocolate than that is good. If you do, you might gain weight, which in turn increases your risk for disease. It makes no difference if you eat a little bit every day or all at once,” says Susanna Larsson, researcher and nutritional epidemiologist at the Karolinska Institute in an article in daily Dagens Nyheter. The scientists can’t yet explain the link between chocolate and the decreased risk of suffering stroke. But the most likely reason they say is that chocolate includes so-called flavonoids, a type of antioxidants that protect the blood vessels. According to Larsson more studies are needed before a daily dose of the delicacy can be recommended. “But it feels good already to be able to refute those who believe that chocolate is unhealthy,” she says.

So, therefore, I will now take a bite of chocolate to continue my campaign (didn't even know I had one until now!) against getting a stroke.  Healthy never tasted so good.  Slurp!

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