Chocolate Reduces Risk of Stroke


A new study on the effects of chocolate was recently presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 62nd annual meeting. The analysis, which involved a review of three prior studies, suggests eating about a bar of chocolate a week can help cut the risk of stroke and lower the risk of death after a stroke.

One study they looked at found that 44,489 people who ate one serving of chocolate per week were 22% less likely to have a stroke than people who ate no chocolate. Another study found that 1,169 people who ate 50 grams of chocolate once a week were 46% less likely to die following a stroke than people who didn’t eat chocolate. HFA has done enough research to know the reason is that dark chocolate (usually described as containing at least 70 percent cocoa solids) contains plant pigments called flavonoids, which have been linked to health benefits. These include reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (such as heart attacks and strokes) or cancer. Chocolate is not the only source of flavonoids. Most plants contain some flavonoids, and good sources are tea, citrus fruit, and red wine.

The research appears in this week’s Neurology and will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 62nd annual meeting in Toronto in April 2010.   Saposnik says future studies need to address which component in chocolate, the amount, and what kind — white, milk or dark — makes a difference. New chocolate-stroke studies should also take into account age and gender of consumers, says Italo Mocchetti, a professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Georgetown University Medical Center. Mocchetti, who has studied flavonoids, says this chemical, which is found in cocoa, is linked to anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. The chocolate-health connection is something many clients are interested in, says Katrina Markoff, owner of the premium chocolate line Vosges. “We get a lot of customers that come in who only want to eat dark chocolate because they believe that it helps their health — everyone speaks in cocoa percentages now,” Markoff says. “This generation is really interested in super foods.”

Previous post:

Next post: