Chocolate could protect men from strokes

Not that anyone needs an excuse to eat chocolate, but a recent study from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm is suggesting that eating moderate amounts of chocolate each week may be associated with a lower risk of stroke in men.

The CBC reports:

Those eating the highest amount of chocolate had a 17 per cent lower risk of stroke, or 12 fewer strokes per 100,000 person-years compared with those who ate no chocolate. Person-years is the total number of years that each man was under observation.

"These findings suggest that moderate chocolate consumption may lower the risk of stroke," Susanna Larsson of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and her co-authors concluded.

"Because chocolate is high in sugar, saturated fat and calories, it should be consumed in moderation."

The study included 37,103 men aged 49 to 75 who filled in questionnaires about how often they ate nearly 100 foods and drinks.

Over 10 years, 1,995 cases of stroke occurred but there was no difference in the association by type of stroke...

A review of similar studies that was part of the research also suggested a 19 per cent decrease in risk of stroke with chocolate consumption.

At the same time, before you run to the candy store, be aware that other factors may be coming into play here. The researchers also mention that the men who ate more chocolate were also younger than the men who ate less chocolate. The chocolate-eaters were more likely to have a university education and use Aspirin, but were less likely to be smokers or have a history of hypertension or atrial fibrillation. In other words, chocolate-eating could be just one reason why those men are less prone to strokes.

You can read the entire study at Neurology.

Image: avs/shutterstock.com.