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Chocolates Could Prevent Stroke in Men

Update Date: Aug 30, 2012 09:00 AM EDT

Even though women are the typical chocolate lovers, it is perhaps time, men picked up the sweet bar of sins too. 

A new study suggests that a moderate amount of chocolate intake each week may lower the risk of stroke in men. 

"While other studies have looked at how chocolate may help cardiovascular health, this is the first of its kind study to find that chocolate, may be beneficial for reducing stroke in men," said study author Susanna C. Larsson, PhD, with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden in the press release. 

The researchers studied 37,103 Swedish men aged between 49 and 75 for the study, quizzing them about their eating habits and also their chocolate intake frequency.

The researchers also checked the number of cases of strokes in 10 years through a hospital discharge registry and found that there were 1,995 cases of first stroke. 

The study revealed that those men who ate the largest amount of chocolate, about 63 grams, had stroke risks comparatively lower than those who did not have any chocolate.

The larger analysis of five studies revealed that the risk of stroke for those with highest chocolate consumption was 19 percent lower when compared to those who did not consume chocolate.

With the increase of 50 grams of chocolate consumption per week, the risk of stroke apparently decreased by about 14 percent. 

"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 Larsson. 

"Interestingly, dark chocolate has previously been associated with heart health benefits, but about 90 percent of the chocolate intake in Sweden, including what was consumed during our study, is milk chocolate," Larsson added.

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