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Dark Chocolate Offers a “Stroke” of Good Luck

A compound in dark chocolate has been shown to protect cells after a stroke.

A study at Johns Hopkins has shown that dark chocolate contains a special compound, which can protect the brain after a stroke.  As it turns out, the dark chocolate increases cells that are designed to protect nerve cells from damage. The Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism recently published this study.

Researchers induced a stroke in mice 90 minutes after giving mice a compound in dark chocolate called epicatechin.  Epicatechin is a member of the compounds named plant flavonoids. Flavonoids also work to prevent blood clots and damage caused by clogged arteries.

To induce the stroke, researchers cut blood to the mice’s brains.  They found that the animals that had received the dark chocolate compounds were less likely to receive brain damage.  Also researchers learned that they could give the epicatechin to the animals 3.5 hours after the stroke.  Usually treatments for humans who have had strokes need to be given 2-3 hours later to be effective.  Therefore, this means that doctors can wait longer before administrating epicatechin treatments to patients.

The lead research on this study is Sylvain Dore, PhD.  He said that his study showed that epicatechin stimulated pathways that can shield the brain from damage.  Dore hopes that his studies on dark chocolate and epicatechins can help begin to limit the kinds of damage caused by stress.

If you are turning to chocolate for health benefits, always remember to reach for the dark chocolate.  But don’t forget that the higher the cacao content, the better.

Sources:
physorg.com
webmd.com

Related Posts

  1. Your Heart Truly Loves Chocolate!
  2. Vitamin C May Reduce Risks of Stroke
  3. Eating Fish Chokes ‘Silent’ Stroke Risk: So Long as It’s Not Fried, Study Says
  4. Nasal Decongestant Poses Increased Risk of Stroke Among Women
  5. Cacao Found to Normalize Blood Sugar Levels, Researchers Report
  


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