Product News and Recalls

Study: Chocolate reduces stroke risk

A recent study finds that eating chocolate may help reduce the incidence of stroke in men, the Los Angeles Times reports.

According to the study, men who had the highest weekly consumption of chocolate — about 63 grams per week, or just a little more than 2 ounces — reduced their likelihood of suffering a stroke by 17 percent. The report also cites the results of a meta-analysis of chocolate consumption and stroke risk in both men and women. It found that for men and women combined, those who ate the most chocolate reduced their stroke risk by about 19 percent.

The precise mechanism by which the chocolate may prevent stroke is still unknown. But the article notes that chocolate is a source of flavenoids, which are the kind of plant-based polyphenols that occur in fruits, vegetables, legumes and wine.

Flavenoids appear to tamp down inflammation throughout the body. They also reduce the aggregation of platelets, which are the building blocks of blood clots that trigger most strokes and heart attacks by reducing or cutting off blood flow to the brain or heart.

Risk factors for the blood clots that can trigger strokes include smoking, long periods of inactivity, pregnancy and use of birth control pills. While most birth control pills can increase the risk of blood clots, a number of studies show that pills with the synthetic hormone drospirenone can increase that risk up to three times compared to other types of oral contraceptive on the market.

Pills with drospirenone include Yasmin, Yaz, Beyaz and Ocella.

The study cited in the Los Angeles Times was published in the journal Neurology, and involved a population of 37,103 Swedish men ranging in age from 45 to 79 at the start of an average follow-up period of about 10 years.

The article cautions that people shouldn’t use the study results as an excuse to over-indulge, noting that obesity is also a risk factor for stroke.  It says that eating more fruits, vegetables and legumes is a lower-calorie way to get the same benefits.

Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with a Beyaz lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries while on Beyaz or similar birth control pills.

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