Tag Archives: Stroke

THIS Is Why I Love the Mediterranean Diet

Italian researchers reviewed the medical/nutrition literature of the last three years and confirmed that the Mediterranean diet 1) reduces the risk of death, 2) reduces  heart disease illness and death, 3) cuts the risk of getting or dying from cancer, and 4) diminishes the odds of developing dementia, Parkinsons disease, stroke, and mild cognitive impairment.

These same investigators published a similar meta-analysis in 2008, looking at 12 studies.  Over the ensuing three years (as of June, 2010), seven new prospective cohort studies looked at the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet.  The report at hand is a combination of all 19 studies, covering over 2,000,000 participants followed for four to 20 years.  Nine of the 19 Mediterranean diet studies were done in Europe.

The newer studies, in particular, firmed up the diet’s protective effect against stroke, and added protection against mild cognitive impairment.

So What?

The Mediterranean diet: No other way of eating has so much scientific evidence that it’s healthy and worthy of adoption by the general population.  Not the DASH diet, not the “prudent diet,” not the American Heart Association diet, not vegetarian diets, not vegan diets, not raw-food diets, not Esselstyne’s diet, not Ornish’s diet, not Atkins diet, not Oprah’s latest diet, not the Standard American Diet, not the  . . . you name it. 

Not even the Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet.

Just as important, the research shows you don’t have to go full-bore Mediterranean to gain a health and longevity benefit.  Adopting  just a couple Mediterranean diet features yeilds a modest but sigificant gain.  For a list of Mediterranean diet components, visit Oldways or the Advanced Mediterranean Diet website. 

Steve Parker, M.D.

Reference:  Sofi, Francesco, et al.  Accruing evidence about benefits of adherence to the Mediterranean diet on health: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis.  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, ePub ahead of print, September 1, 2010.  doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2010.29673

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Filed under coronary heart disease, Health Benefits, Mediterranean Diet

Heart and Stroke Patients: Avoid Weight-Loss Drug Sibutramine (Meridia)

The weight-loss drug sibutramine (Meridia) should be withdrawn from the U.S. market, suggests an editorialist in the September 2, 2010, New England Journal of Medicine.  Based on a clinical study in the same issue, it’s more accurate to conclude that sibutramine shouldn’t be prescribed for people who aren’t supposed to be taking it in the first place.

Sibutramine is sold in the U.S. as Meridia and has been available since 1997.  Judging from the patients I run across, it’s not a very popular drug.  Why not?  It’s expensive and most people don’t lose much weight.

The recent multi-continent SCOUT trial enrolled 9,800 male and female study subjects at least 55 years old (average age 63) who had either:

  1. 1) History of cardiovascular disease (here defined as coronary artery disease, stroke, or peripheral artery disease)
  2. 2) Type 2 diabetes plus one or more of the following: high blood pressure, adverse cholesterol levels, current smoking, or diabetic kidney disease.
  3. Or both of the above (which ended up being 60% of the study population)`.

Here’s a problem from the get-go (“git-go” if you’re from southern U.S.).  For years, Meridia’s manufacturer and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have told doctors they shouldn’t use the drug in patients with history of cardiovascular disease.  It’s not the scary “black box warning,” but it’s clearly in the package insert of full prescribing information.

Half the subjects were randomized to sibutramine 10 mg/day and the other half to placebo.  All were instructed in diet and exercise aiming for a 600 calorie per day energy deficit.  They should lose about a pound a week if they followed the program.  Average follow-up was 3.4 years.

What Did the Researchers Find?

Forty percent of both drug and placebo users dropped out of the study, a very high rate.

As measured at one year, the sibutramine-users averaged a weight loss of 9.5 pounds (4.3 kg), the majority of which was in the first 6 weeks.  After the first year, they tended to regain a little weight, but kept most of it off.

Death rates were the same for sibutramine and placebo.

Sibutramine users with a history of cardiovascular disease had a 16% increase in non-fatal heart attack and stroke compared to placebo.  To “cause” one heart attack or stroke in a person with known cardiovascular disease, you would have to treat 52 such patients.

Folks in the “diabetes plus risk factor(s)” group who took sibutramine had no increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

So What?

Average weight loss with sibutramine isn’t much.  Nothing new there.  [Your mileage may vary.]

People with cardiovascular disease shouldn’t take sibutramine.  Nothing new there either.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Reference:  James, W. Philip, et al.  Effect of sibutramine on cardiovascular outcomes in overweight and obese subjects.  New England Journal of Medicine, 363 (2010): 905-917.

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Filed under coronary heart disease, Drugs for Diabetes, Overweight and Obesity, Stroke, Weight Loss

Diabetes and Shortened Lifespan: “How Bad Is It, Doc?”

Diabetes mellitus for years has been linked with cardiovascular disease such as heart failure and coronary heart disease (blocked arteries in the heart, and the leading cause of death in the Western world).  How scared should diabetics be?

An article  in the Archives of Internal Medicine gives us one answer.

Researchers from the Netherlands and Harvard examined medical records of 5,209 people (mostly white, 64% men) enrolled in the Framingham (Massachusetts, USA) Heart Study.  This cohort has been examined every other year for more than 46 years. 

Study subjects who had diabetes at age 50 were identified; health outcomes going forward were then analyzed, with particular attention to lifespan and cardiovascular disease.  “Cardiovascular disease” in this context means coronary heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, intermittent claudication (leg pain during exertion caused by blocked arteries), and transient ischemic attack (stroke-like symptoms that resolve within 24 hours).

Results

Compared to those in the cohort free of diabetes, having diabetes at age 50 more than doubled the risk of developing cardiovascular disease for both women and men. 

Compared to those without diabetes, having both cardiovascular disease and diabetes approximately doubled the risk of dying, regardless of sex.

Compared to those without diabetes, women and men with diabetes at age 50 died 7 or 8 years earlier, on average.

[Specific causes of death were not reported.]

Take-Home Points

We’d likely see longer lifespans and less cardiovascular disease if we could prevent diabetes in the first place.  How do we do that?  Strategies include regular physical activity, avoidance or reversal of overweight and obesity, and low-glycemic-index diets.

The Mediterranean diet it linked to reduced heart attacks and strokes, and longer lifespan.  That’s why I’ve been working for the last year and a half to adapt it for diabetics.

ResearchBlogging.orgWe have better treatments for cardiovascular disease and diabetes and these days, so the death rates and illness numbers shouldn’t  be quite so alarming.  Up-to-date management of diabetes and cardiovascular disease will prevent some acute disease events—such as heart attacks and strokes—and prolong life.   

Steve Parker, M.D.

References: 

Franco, O., Steyerberg, E., Hu, F., Mackenbach, J., & Nusselder, W. (2007). Associations of Diabetes Mellitus With Total Life Expectancy and Life Expectancy With and Without Cardiovascular Disease Archives of Internal Medicine, 167 (11), 1145-1151 DOI: 10.1001/archinte.167.11.1145

Knowler, W.C., et al.  Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin.  New England Journal of Medicine, 346 (2002): 393-403.

Tuomilehto, J., et al.  Prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus by changes in lifestyle among subjects with impaired glucose tolerance.  New England Journal of Medicine, 344 (2001): 1,343-1,350.

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Filed under coronary heart disease, Diabetes Complications, Stroke

Rosiglitazone On the Ropes

A week ago, MedPageToday reported that a British advisory commission recommended the diabetes drug rosiglitazone (Avandia) be withdrawn from the market.

On July 6, I wrote about evidence that rosiglitazone users seem to incur a higher risk of stroke, heart failure, and death.

If I were taking Avandia, I’d be asking my doctor about alternatives. 

Steve Parker, M.D.

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Had a Stroke? Statin Drug May Prevent Next One

When taken by properly selected patients, statin drugs prevent strokes.  The American Heart Association’s published stroke treatment guidelines specify which stroke patients benefit from ongoing statin usage.  Find the details at my last Self/NutritionData Heart Health Blog post.

Steve Parker, M.D. 

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Whole Grains Lower Blood Pressure: So What?

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition earlier this month published a research report on whole grain consumption and various cardiovascular disease risk factors.  U.K. investigators compared the effects of refined grains versus whole grains in healthy middle-aged adults.  The strongest finding was that three servings a day of whole grains—wheat and oats in this instance—reduced systolic blood pressure by 5 mmHg. 

The investigators suggest this BP lowering may be responsible for the reduced risk of heart attack and stroke associated with whole grain consumption in observational studies.

Additional details are at my Self/NutritionData Heart Health Blog post of August 17, 2010.  The researchers noted a three or four percent reduction in LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”) in study participants eating refined grains, yet , mysteriously, had nothing to say about that.

Steve Parker, M.D.

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Filed under Carbohydrate

Diabetes Drug Rosiglitazone About to Be Pulled Off the Market?

ResearchBlogging.orgIt’s over for rosiglitazone.

Sold in the U.S. as Avandia, rosiglitazone is a drug used to control type 2 diabetes either alone or in combination with insulin, metformin, or a sulfonylurea.  It has only one competitor in its class: pioglitazone (sold as Actos).

Both drugs in the thiazolidinedione class (aka TZDs or glitazones) increase the risk of heart failure.  Prior studies had suggested that rosiglitazone increases the risk of heart attack, heart failure, and death.  Research suggested that pioglitazone actually reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death.

A study just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association directly compared clinical use of rosiglitazone and pioglitazone.  Investigators looked at Medicare data involving over 227,000 patients, average age 74, average follow-up of 105 days.

Rosiglitazone comes out the loser: users had significantly higher risk of stroke, heart failure, and death.  Risk of heart attack trended a bit higher in the rosi users but did not reach statistical significance. 

The researchers also calculated the composite risk of suffering either a heart attack, stroke, heart failure, or death:  rosiglitazone risk was about 18% higher compared to pioglitazone. 

What do these numbers mean from a practical viewpoint?  The researchers calculated a “number needed to harm.” Treat 60 patients with rosi and 60 with pio for one year; the rosi group will have one extra event—heart attack, stroke, heart failure, or death—compared with the pio users.

Why put up with that risk?  There’s no good reason.  Especially when pioglitazone is available.

Implications

If you take rosiglitazone, ask your doctor to find an alternative or switch you to pioglitazone.  Soon.

Clearly, we don’t know all of the adverse effects of many of the drugs doctors prescribe, whether for diabetes or other illnesses.  We balance the good with the bad, and that equation changes over time. 

Rosiglitazone’s manufacturer may pull the drug off the market voluntarily.  If not, the FDA will do it.  Cardiovascular disease—e.g., heart attacks, strokes, heart failure—kills 68% of diabetics.  The last thing we need is a drug that increases that risk.

Within a month, you’ll see ads on U.S. television from trial lawyers asking if you or a loved one has been hurt by rosiglitazone.  “If so, call this toll-free number now…”

Steve Parker, M.D.

Reference: Graham, D., Ouellet-Hellstrom, R., MaCurdy, T., Ali, F., Sholley, C., Worrall, C., & Kelman, J. (2010). Risk of Acute Myocardial Infarction, Stroke, Heart Failure, and Death in Elderly Medicare Patients Treated With Rosiglitazone or Pioglitazone JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association DOI: 10.1001/jama.2010.920

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Filed under Drugs for Diabetes

Documented Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

The enduring popularity of the Mediterranean diet is attributable to three things:

  1. Taste
  2. Variety
  3. Health benefits

 For our purposes today, I use “diet” to refer to the usual food and drink of a person, not a weight-loss program.

The scientist most responsible for the popularity of the diet, Ancel Keys, thought the heart-healthy aspects of the diet related to low saturated fat consumption.  He also thought the lower blood cholesterol levels in Mediterranean populations (at least Italy and Greece) had something to do with it, too.  Dietary saturated fat does tend to raise cholesterol levels, both LDL and HDL.

Even if Keys was wrong about saturated fat and cholesterol levels being positively associated with heart disease, numerous studies (involving eight countries on three continents) strongly suggest that the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest around.  See References below for the most recent studies.

Relatively strong evidence supports the Mediterranean diet’s association with:

■ increased lifespan

■ lower rates of cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks and strokes

■ lower rates of cancer (prostate, breast, uterus, colon)

■ lower rates of dementia

■ lower incidence of type 2 diabetes

 

Weaker supporting evidence links the Mediterranean diet with:

■ slowed progression of dementia

■ prevention of cutaneous melanoma

■ lower severity of type 2 diabetes, as judged by diabetic drug usage and fasting blood sugars

■ less risk of developing obesity

■ better blood pressure control in the elderly

■ improved weight loss and weight control in type 2 diabetics

■ improved control of asthma

■  reduced risk of developing diabetes after a heart attack

■ reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment

■  prolonged life of Alzheimer disease patients

■ lower rates and severity of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

■ lower risk of gastric (stomach) cancer

■ less risk of macular degeneration

■ less Parkinsons disease

■ increased chance of pregnancy in women undergoing fertility treatment

■  reduced prevalence of metabolic syndrome (when supplemented with nuts)

■ lower incidence of asthma and allergy-like symptoms in children of women who followed the Mediterranean diet while pregnant

Did you notice that I used the word “association” in relating the Mediterranean diet to health outcomes?  Association, of course, is not causation. 

The way to prove that a particular diet is healthier is to take 20,000 similar young adults, randomize the individuals  in an interventional study to eat one of two test diets for the next 60 years, monitoring them for the development of various diseases and death.  Make sure they stay on the assigned test diet.  Then you’d have an answer for that population and those two diets.  Then you have to compare the winning diet to yet other diets.  And a study done in Caucasians would not necessarily apply to Asians, Native Americans, Blacks, or Hispanics.

Now you begin to see why scientists tend to rely on observational  rather than interventional diet studies.

I became quite interested in nutrition around the turn of the century as my patients asked me for dietary advice to help them lose weight and control or prevent various diseases.  At that time, the Atkins diet, Mediterranean diet, and Dr. Dean Ornish’s vegetarian program for heart patients were all prevalent.  And you couldn’t pick three programs with more differences!  So I had my work cut out for me. 

After much scientific literature review, I find the Mediterranean diet to be the healthiest for the general population.  People with particular medical problems or ethnicities may do better on another diet.  A low-carb Mediterranean diet should be healthier for type 2 diabetics.  Dan Buettner makes a good argument for plant-based diets in his longevity book, The Blue Zones.  The traditional Mediterranean diet qualifies as plant-based.

What do you consider the overall healthiest diet, and why?

Steve Parker, M.D.

References:

Buckland, Genevieve, et al.  Adherence to a Mediterranean diet and risk of gastric adenocarcinoma within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort studyAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition, December 9, 2009, epub ahead of print.  doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28209

Fortes, C., et al.  A protective effect of the Mediterraenan diet for cutaneous melanoma.  International Journal of Epidmiology, 37 (2008): 1,018-1,029.

Sofi, Francesco, et al.  Adherence to Mediterranean diet and health status: Meta-analysis.  British Medical Journal, 337; a1344.  Published online September 11, 2008.  doi:10.1136/bmj.a1344

Benetou, V., et al.  Conformity to traditional Mediterranean diet and cancer incidence: the Greek EPIC cohort.  British Journal of Cancer, 99 (2008): 191-195.

Mitrou, Panagiota N., et al.  Mediterranean Dietary Pattern and Prediction of All-Cause Mortality in a US Population,  Archives of Internal Medicine, 167 (2007): 2461-2468.

Feart, Catherine, et al.  Adherence to a Mediterranean diet, cognitive decline, and risk of dementia.  Journal of the American Medical Association, 302 (2009): 638-648.

Scarmeas, Nikolaos, et al.  Physical activity, diet, and risk of Alzheimer Disease.  Journal of the American Medical Association, 302 (2009): 627-637.

Scarmeas, Nikolaos, et al.  Mediterranean Diet and Mild Cognitive Impairment.  Archives of Neurology, 66 (2009): 216-225.

Scarmeas, N., et al.  Mediterranean diet and Alzheimer disease mortality.  Neurology, 69 (2007):1,084-1,093.

Fung, Teresa, et al.  Mediterranean diet and incidence of and mortality from coronary heart disease and stroke in women.  Circulation, 119 (2009): 1,093-1,100.

Mente, Andrew, et al.  A Systematic Review of the Evidence Supporting a Causal Link Between Dietary Factors and Coronary Heart DiseaseArchives of Internal Medicine, 169 (2009): 659-669.

Salas-Salvado, Jordi, et al.  Effect of a Mediterranean Diet Supplemented With Nuts on Metabolic Syndrome Status: One-Year Results of the PREDIMED Randomized Trial.  Archives of Internal Medicine, 168 (2008): 2,449-2,458.

Mozaffarian, Dariush, et al.  Incidence of new-onset diabetes and impaired fasting glucose in patients with recent myocardial infarction and the effect of clinical and lifestyle risk factors.  Lancet, 370 (2007) 667-675.

Esposito, Katherine, et al.  Effects of a Mediterranean-style diet on the need for antihyperglycemic drug therapy in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetesAnnals of Internal Medicine, 151 (2009): 306-314.

Shai, Iris, et al.  Weight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet.  New England Journal of Medicine, 359 (2008): 229-241.

Martinez-Gonzalez, M.A., et al.  Adherence to Mediterranean diet and risk of developing diabetes: prospective cohort study.  British Medical Journal, BMJ,doi:10.1136/bmj.39561.501007.BE (published online May 29, 2008).

Trichopoulou, Antonia, et al.  Anatomy of health effects of the Mediterranean diet: Greek EPIC prospective cohort studyBritish Medical Journal, 338 (2009): b2337.  DOI: 10.1136/bmj.b2337.

Barros, R., et al.  Adherence to the Mediterranean diet and fresh fruit intake are associated with improved asthma control.  Allergy, vol. 63 (2008): 917-923.

Varraso, Raphaelle, et al.  Prospective study of dietary patterns and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among US men.  Thorax, vol. 62, (2007): 786-791

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Filed under Health Benefits, Mediterranean Diet

Whole Grains Reduce Heart Attacks and Strokes

Whole grain consumption is associated with a 21% reduction in cardiovascular disease when compared to minimal whole grain intake, according to a 2008 review article in Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Disease.   

Coronary heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the developed world.  Stroke is No. 3.  The term “cardiovascular disease” lumps together heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure,  and generalized atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). 

Investigators at Wake Forest University reviewed seven pertinent studies looking at whole grains and cardiovascular disease.  The studies looked at groups of people, determining their baseline food consumption via questionnaire, and noted disease development over time.  These are called “prospective cohort studies.” 

None of these cohorts was composed purely of diabetics.

The people eating greater amounts of whole grain (average of 2.5 servings a day) had 21% lower risk of cardiovascular disease events compared to those who ate an average of 0.2 servings a day.  Disease events included heart disease, strokes, and fatal cardiovascular disease.  The lower risk was similar in degree whether the focus was on heart disease, stroke, or cardiovascular death.

Note that refined grain consumption was not associated with cardiovascular disease events. 

Why does this matter?

The traditional Mediterranean diet is rich in whole grains, which may help explain why the diet is associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease.  If we look simply at longevity, however, a recent study found no benefit to the cereal grain component of the Mediterranean diet.  Go figure . . . doesn’t add up. 

Readers here know that over the last four months I’ve been reviewing the nutritional science literature that supports the disease-suppression claims for consumption of fruits, vegetables, and legumes.  I’ve been disappointed.  Fruit and vegetable consumption does not lower risk of cancer overall, nor does it prevent heart disease.  I haven’t found any strong evidence that legumes prevent or treat any disease, or have an effect on longevity.  Why all the literature review?  I’ve been deciding which healthy carbohydrates diabetics and prediabetics should add back into their diets after 8–12 weeks of the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet.

The study at hand is fairly persuasive that whole grain consumption suppresses heart attacks and strokes and cardiovascular death.  [The paleo diet advocates and anti-gluten folks must be disappointed.]  I nominate whole grains as additional healthy carbs, perhaps the healthiest.

But . . .

. . .  for diabetics, there’s a fly in the ointment: the high carbohydrate content of grains often lead to high spikes in blood sugar.  It’s a pity, since diabetics are prone to develop cardiovascular disease and whole grains could counteract that.  We need a prospective cohort study of whole grain consumption in diabetics.  It’ll be done eventually, but I’m not holding my breath.

[Update June 12, 2010: The aforementioned study has been done in white women with type 2 diabetes.  Whole grain and bran consumption do seem to protect them against overall death and cardiovascular death.  The effect is not strong.]

What’s a guy or gal to do with this information now?

Non-diabetics:  Aim to incorporate two or three servings of whole grain daily into your diet if you want to lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. 

Diabetics:  Several options come to mind:

  1. Eat whatever you want and forget about it [not recommended].
  2. Does coronary heart disease runs in your family?  If so, try to incorporate one or two servings of whole grains daily, noting and addressing effects on your blood sugar one and two hours after consumption.  Eating whole grains alone will generally spike blood sugars higher than if you eat them with fats and protein.  Review acceptable blood sugar levels here.
  3. Regardless of family history, try to eat one or two servings of whole grains a day, noting and addressing effects on your blood sugar.  Then decide if it’s worth it.  Do you have to increase your diabetic drug dosages or add a new drug?  Are you tolerating the drugs?  Can you afford them?    
  4. Assess all your risk factors for developing heart disease: smoking, sedentary lifestyle, high blood pressure, age, high LDL cholesterol, family history, etc.  If you have multiple risk factors, see Option #3.  And modify the risk factors under your control.   
  5. Get your personal physician’s advice.    

Steve Parker, M.D.

Extra Credit:  The study authors suggest a number of reasons—and cite pertinent scientific references—how whole grains might reduce heart disease:

  • improved glucose homeostasis (protection against insulin resistance, less rise in blood sugar after ingestion [compared to refined grains], improved insulin sensitivity or beta-cell function)
  • advantageous blood lipid effects (soluble fiber from whole grains [especially oats] reduces LDL cholesterol, lower amounts of the small LDL particles thought to be particularly damaging to arteries, tendency to raise HDL cholesterol and trigylcerides [seen with insulin resistance in the metabolic syndrome])
  • improved function of the endothelial cells lining the arteries (improved vascular reactivity)

Disclaimer:  All matters regarding your health require supervision by a personal physician or other appropriate health professional familiar with your current health status.  Always consult your personal physician before making any dietary or exercise changes.

Reference: Mellen, P.B, Walsh, T.F., and Herrington, D.M.  Whole grain intake and cardiovascular disease: a meta-analysisNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease, 18 (2008): 283-290.

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Filed under Carbohydrate, coronary heart disease, Diabetes Complications, Grains, ketogenic diet, legumes, Mediterranean Diet, Stroke

More Chocolate, Less Strokes

Chocolate seems to protect against stroke, according to Canadian researchers as reported by TheHeart.Org

Investigators reviewed the best available studies and found:

  1. 22% lower risk of stroke in those who ate about one serving of chocolate per week, and
  2. 46% reduction in death from stroke in those who ate 50 g of chocolate per week

[These figures are comparisons to those who never ate chocolate.]  At least one study found no association between chocolate consumption and stroke and death rates.

Researchers cite the flavonoids and procyanidins in chocolate as the potentially healthy components, along with other antioxidants.  Dark chocolate has much more than milk or white chocolate.  The underlying studies typically do not inquire as to the type of chocolate eaten.

It’s possible that chocolate consumption is simply a marker for healthy or health-conscious people who have other characteristics that would reduce stroke risk, such as keeping blood pressure under control, exercising, and not smoking.

The evidence for chocolate’s health benefits is not super-strong.  People who love chocolate don’t need science to support their habits.  The “healthy dose” of dark chocolate—if there is one—is probably no more than 20 g every three days.  That’s not much.

Interested in dark chocolate and don’t know how to get started?  I reviewed seven brands of dark chocolate at one of my other blogs.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Reference:  Jeffery, Susan.  Chocolate linked to lower stroke and stroke mortality risk.  HeartWire by TheHeart.Org, February 12, 2010.

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