According to a new study in the reputed journal Neurology, chocolate, along with being good for the heart and good for the brain, is also linked to a decreased risk of stroke in men.
The study followed close to 38,000 men in Sweden aged between 49 and 75. They were asked to respond to questionnaires which asked how frequently they ate certain foods. Follow-up studies took place ten years later, and it was found that almost 2,000 participants had been afflicted with a stroke.
The study showed that the men who ingested the largest amounts of chocolate had a 17 percent lesser chance of suffering a stroke than those who didn’t eat any chocolate at all. The recent study also confirmed the conclusions of five previous studies which showed that chocolate-eating men decreased their risk of stroke by 19 percent.
Susanna C. Larsson, PhD of the Karolinska Institute and study researcher said in a statement: “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.”
However, researchers do want to point out that the relationship between chocolate and decreased stroke risk is not one of cause-and-effect: what the study has shown is that there is only a link between the chocolate consumption and a lower risk of stroke.