Does Dark Chocolate Prevent Stroke?

foods-to-eat-to-prevent-strokeDoes eating dark chocolate prevent stroke? Now, this question seems to be pretty well answered. Recently, the British “Daily Mail” published online that scientists found that eating a moderate amount of chocolate on daily basis linked to lower heart disease and stroke risk. This conclusion is the result of a 12-year follow-up study carried out in 21,000 British.

These findings were published recently in the medical journal “Heart” and the researchers come from the University of Cambridge, University of Aberdeen, Manchester University and the University of East Anglia.

Usually people who are at much higher risk for heart disease are suggested to take less sugary and fatty foods. However, the researchers argue that the idea of less sugar intake is not necessarily true for people with heart risk in any way. Instead, they found that regular daily intake of 100 grams of chocolate can reduce stroke risk by 11%.

Another study, published in May 31 in the “British Medical Journal”, also found that taking the right amount of dark chocolate daily could help people with high risk of metabolic syndrome reduce cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke. As you may know, patients with metabolic syndrome are characterized by obesity and elevations in blood lipids, blood pressure, and blood sugar. As a result, most of them will end up with diabetes and cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease.

Worldwide cardiovascular disease is considered one of major killers these days. Dark chocolate contains at least 60 percent cocoa solids, which are rich in flavonoids. As we all know, flavonoids have a very good cardiovascular protective effect. However, it has actually been confirmed in the short-term studies only. So researchers in Melbourne assessed 2013 people at high risk of heart disease and used mathematical models to predict the long-term effects and cost-effectiveness of the daily consumption of this sweet, rich, and delicious snack.

All study participants were with high blood pressure and in accordance with the conditions of metabolic syndrome, and they had no prior history of heart disease or diabetes and, in addition, received no antihypertensive treatment before.

The researchers said that ideally the daily consumption of it would help avoid 70 cases of fatal and 15 cases of non-fatal cardiovascular emergencies in every million people over at least 10 years of time.

Even though the compliance falls to 80%, its effect can still help avoid 10 cases of fatal and 55 cases of non-fatal cardiovascular emergencies in every million people. Such a result is still enough to confirm that dark chocolate does have valid intervention to cardiovascular disease.

According to this model, the recommended cost on black chocolate for each person per year is $42. The researchers added that this figure could be used for advertising, educational activities, or even the subsidy for those who are at high risk of cardiovascular disease.

However, it is also important to note that the mentioned one with a protective effect against heart disease is black chocolate containing 60% to 70% cocoa, instead of milk or white chocolate. Maybe it’s just because the dark one contains more flavonoids.

Thanks for the properties of lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, dark chocolate can offer an inexpensive but effective prevention strategy to people with metabolic syndrome but without diabetes. However, it should be noted that chocolate should be consumed in a moderate amount although it helps prevent stroke. After all, this is a sugary, fatty snack that can lead to other health problem if it is consumed too much.

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