Dark chocolate, while it may not be the chocolate of choice for some, is said to have a great deal of health benefits including antioxidants and other properties which can be beneficial for heart health and now, it seems may help with recovery from stroke.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have shown that in studies with mice, the compound epicatchin was found to protect nerve cells in the brain if eaten prior to a stroke, thereby protecting the brain against damage, or reducing the effects of the damage, and in many cases the substance ameliorated the negative effects of stroke and brain damage even if only administered after the stroke had already occurred, within 3.5 hours of the stroke. The study was done by Dr. Sylvain Dore, Ph.D., associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine and pharmocaology and molecular sciences and Johns Hopkins. He states that epicatechin stimulates two well-established pathways known to protect nerve cells in the brain from damage. While further information is needed, the discovery of the compound and its positive effects bode well for the continuing care and recovery of stroke patients.
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Aimee Boyle is a freelance writer and contributes regularly to EmpowHER