Stroke is the third leading cause of death and has major impact towards the end of life. Eliminating or reducing the risk of stroke would provide significant benefit towards extension of quality lifespan.
A recent report published in the journal Neurology shows convincingly that consuming chocolate reduces the risk of stroke.
Chocolate, derived from the cacao bean has been demonstrated to provide several health benefits and may as a result extend human lifespan. It contains various photochemicals in the flavonoid line which exert biological effects.
In the present study, 37,103 Swedish men between the ages of 49 and 75 years old completed a dietary questionnaire which included questions about chocolate consumption. The groups health records were then tracked for the subsequent 10 years in which 1995 cases of first stroke occurred.
Those men who consumed the largest amount of chocolate (about one third a cup per day) had the lowest risk of stroke. Their risk of having a stroke was reduced by 17 percent. Furthermore, for every quarter cup increase in consumption, risk was reduced by 14 percent.
The the purest cacao with the least sugar as found in very dark chocolate should offer the most benefit, though 90% of the chocolate consumed by these subjects was milk chocolate.
“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,” said lead author Susanna Larsson said.
This study is further evidence adding to the body already in existence that small amounts of regular chocolate consumption may potentially reduce disease burden and extend lifespan.