ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
Cranberries May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Sea Worm Inspires Novel Bone Glue
Heart Failure Raises Risk of Fractures
CANCER
Vitamin C Shows Promise as Cancer Treatment
Sharing Cancer Info May Be Empowering
More Americans Urged to Get Cancer Screenings
CAREGIVING
Moms Who Breast-Feed Less Likely to Neglect Child
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Holistic Dentistry-My View
DIABETES
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Many Kids Don't Need the Vitamins They're Taking
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
Functional Foods Uncovered
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Ozone Pollution Taking Toll on American Lives
Smog Standards Need Tightening, Activists Say
Lead Exposure in Childhood Linked to Criminal Behavior Later
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
FITNESS
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
MRSA Infections Can Bug Fitness Buffs
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Swine Flu May Have Infected More Than 100,000 Americans
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Whole Grains Lower Risk of Heart Failure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Combo Treatment Eases Wheezing in Babies
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
SENIORS
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Add your Article

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