The flavonoids, antioxidant substances present in chocolate, have been associated with a lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, and several studies have shown that they have the ability to reduce blood pressure or cholesterol levels. Now, a study published in the journal 'Neurology', has found new data that endorse the benefits that can be obtained with a moderate consumption of chocolate, and is its possible relation with the reduction of cerebrovascular accidents.

A team of Swedish researchers have followed 37,103 men, aged between 49 and 75, over a period of ten years, and found that those who ate the most chocolate -63 grams a week, which equals about half a tablet of chocolate-, they had up to 17% less chance of suffering a stroke compared to those who consumed less chocolate.

Those who ate the most chocolate -63 grams a week-, had up to 17% less chance of suffering a stroke compared to those who consumed less chocolate

The authors of the study reached this conclusion by analyzing the tests that the volunteers had answered, and in which they were asked about their lifestyle and their habitual diet, including the consumption of chocolate. And precisely they found a significant difference in chocolate consumption among the 1,995 males in the study who suffered a stroke during the follow-up period, and those who were not affected by this disorder.

Experts, however, caution against this data because they consider that in these epidemiological studies are not always taken into account very important variables such as the fact that people who consumed more chocolate could also be those who had a diet and style of healthier life; thus, it would be necessary to determine in what percentage chocolate consumption influenced the reduction of the risk of stroke, and in what percentage did the lifestyle itself.

Dr. Clotilde Vázquez, endocrinologist and member of the Center for Biomedical Research in Network-Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition (CiberOBH) explains that possibly the beneficial effects of chocolate for health are due to its content in flavonoids, which can play a protective role against certain cardiovascular diseases. However, he cautions that this does not mean that chocolate consumption should be abused, since it is a food rich in saturated fats, and foods are beneficial when taken in moderate amounts.

Health benefits of Chocolate (November 2019).