ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
Put Your Best Foot Forward Next Year
'Snowbirds' Beware the Climate Changes
CANCER
Breast Self-Exam Rates Go Up With Counseling
Many Ignore Symptoms of Bladder Trouble
Herb May Counter Liver Damage From Chemo
CAREGIVING
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
Study of Everest Climbers Questions Oxygen Use
Coordination Has Led to Quicker Heart Treatment
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
DIABETES
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
DIET, NUTRITION
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Soluble Fiber, But Not Bran, Soothes Irritable Bowel
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Air Pollution May Cause Appendicitis: Study Reveals
Agent Orange Exposure Tied to Prostate Cancer Return
Think You Are Lead-Free? Check Your Soil
EYE CARE, VISION
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
Magnetic Pulses to Brain Improve Lazy Eye in Adults
FITNESS
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
FDA Mandates New Warnings for Botox
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Olde Time Medicine Therapy May Prevent Alcoholic Relapse
8 Drugs Doctors Would Never Take
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Music May Temper Pain in Preemies
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
SENIORS
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
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Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk

Just in time for Valentine's Day comes word that eating dark chocolate appears to lower your risk of stroke or lessen the likelihood of death after a stroke.

But the findings, based on a review of existing research, aren't conclusive, and they don't prove that chocolate is good for your heart. And dietitians say too much chocolate can be harmful.

Still, two of the three studies analyzed in the review provide yet another suggestion that health benefits lurk in chocolate, dark chocolate in particular, said review co-author Dr. Gustavo Saposnik.

If choosing among white chocolate, milk chocolate or dark chocolate, "I'd definitely go with the dark chocolate," said Saposnik, director of the Stroke Research Unit at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.

The review authors, who found three studies on chocolate consumption and stroke between 2001 and 2009, are scheduled to report their findings at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting in Toronto in April.

One study found no significant association between chocolate consumption and risk of stroke or death from stroke. But another found that the stroke rate was 22 percent lower in people who ate chocolate once a week, and a third reported that death from stroke was 46 percent lower in those who ate 50 grams of chocolate once a week.

The health benefit may come from antioxidants called flavonoids that are present in chocolate, Saposnik said. Antioxidants are thought to prevent cell damage.

In years past, "the message was that chocolate consumption might be associated with higher LDL [bad] cholesterol or perhaps higher incidence of cardiovascular disease," he said. "Today, we know that all chocolates are not the same."

So, should you and your sweetheart add dark chocolate to your diet? "I'm not sure we can provide any recommendation at this time," Saposnik said.

For one thing, it's possible that some factor other than chocolate could be helping lower the risk of stroke. Those who eat more chocolate could be wealthier and have better access to health care, for instance, or go to the gym more often.

Saposnik said more studies will help clarify the association between chocolate and stroke risk.

For now, said registered dietitian Katie Clark, "caution should be taken not to promote chocolate as a health food," even though it's fine in moderation.

Chocolate is a major source of saturated fat, which raises bad cholesterol and boosts heart disease risk, said Clark, an assistant clinical professor at the University of California at San Francisco.

But Keith-Thomas Ayoob, an associate professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City who studies nutrition, said chocolate does have its benefits. "Several studies indicate that even a little chocolate can help reduce blood pressure and increase blood flow through the arteries. Both are good for heart health," he said. "It's nice to know that chocolate isn't bad for you, assuming you eat modest amounts and don't become overweight by overeating it."

SOURCES: Gustavo Saposnik, M.D., M.Sc., director, Stroke Research Unit, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto; Katie Clark, M.P.H., R.D., assistant clinical professor, University of California at San Francisco; Keith-Thomas Ayoob, Ed.D., R.D., F.A.D.A., associate clinical professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City; Feb. 11, 2010, American Academy of Neurology, news release Published on: February 11, 2010