Time for another post about the burden of healthy eating. You ought to eat chocolate in case you have a stroke. The chemical epicatechin in chocolate provides protection.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered that a compound in dark chocolate may protect the brain after a stroke by increasing cellular signals already known to shield nerve cells from damage.
Ninety minutes after feeding mice a single modest dose of epicatechin, a compound found naturally in dark chocolate, the scientists induced an ischemic stroke by essentially cutting off blood supply to the animals' brains. They found that the animals that had preventively ingested the epicatechin suffered significantly less brain damage than the ones that had not been given the compound.
Do not go too many hours without eating chocolate.
While most treatments against stroke in humans have to be given within a two- to three-hour time window to be effective, epicatechin appeared to limit further neuronal damage when given to mice 3.5 hours after a stroke. Given six hours after a stroke, however, the compound offered no protection to brain cells.
In many chocolates the epicatechin is destroyed by processing.
"The epicatechin found in dark chocolate is extremely sensitive to changes in heat and light" he says. "In the process of making chocolate, you have to make sure you don't destroy it. Only few chocolates have the active ingredient. The fact that it says 'dark chocolate' is not sufficient."
I've read that Mars retains more flavonoids in their Dove dark chocolate. I haven't found a good web source comparing flavonoids in different chocolates.
It is possible to mix that chocolate in with other foods high in epicatechin. Apples have 8 mg of epicatechin per 100 grams (3 and a half ounces) as do black grapes and raspberries. Blackberries have 18 mg. Broadbeans and cherries are also good sources. Most of the berries and cherries are good sources (so eat dark chocolate with cherry inside). But dark chocolate has 5 times as much as apples and grapes per 100 grams. Tea is a good source, especially green tea.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2010 May 06 10:22 PM Aging Diet Brain Studies|