ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
Acupuncture May Not Help Hot Flashes
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Hip Replacement Boosts Mobility at Any Age
Majority of College Students Report Backpack-Related Pain
Put Your Best Foot Forward Next Year
CANCER
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Get to Know the Pap Test
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
CAREGIVING
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
Timing May Matter in Organ Donation Decisions
Study of Everest Climbers Questions Oxygen Use
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
DIET, NUTRITION
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
'Soda Tax' Wins Health Experts' Support
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Seasons Arriving 2 Days Earlier, Study Says
Chemicals in Carpets, Non-Stick Pans Tied to Thyroid Disease
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
Protein Might One Day Prevent Blindness
FITNESS
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
New Methods Could Speed Production of Flu Vaccines
Vinegar Might Help Keep Off Pounds
Swine Flu Fatality Rate a 'Little Bit' Higher Than That of Seasonal Flu
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
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
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Ingredient in Dark Chocolate Could Guard Against Stroke
Fewer Heart Attacks After England Goes Smoke-Free
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Quick Orthopedic Repair Can Save Young Shoulders
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
MEN'S HEALTH
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
SENIORS
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
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
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
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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