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Study: Dark chocolate may help brain protect itself from stroke

Category: General Health

Individuals who have tested positive for certain risk factors associated with strokes may want to consider adding dark chocolate to their diet, as new research suggest a compound in the sweet may help protect the brain from damage.

The study tested the compound epicatechin on mice. Researchers found that mice that had high levels of the compound in their body were less likely to suffer brain damage than mice that had none.

Lead researcher, Dr Sylvain Dore, said that he hopes his research will provide clues to treating other brain diseases, because he believes the compound in dark chocolate may not only prevent conditions specific to stroke.

"Epicatechin itself may not be shielding brain cells from free radical damage directly, but instead, epicatechin, and its metabolites, may be prompting the cells to defend themselves," he said.

The study could come as good news for individuals who have tested positive for some of the risk factors associated with brain ailments, as government health officials say conditions like Alzheimer's and stroke are some of the leading killers in the U.S.
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