(NaturalNews) Stroke takes an enormous toll on health. In fact, it's the third leading cause of death in the US, according to the American Stroke Association. So imagine how much money Big Pharma could rake in if drug manufacturers came up with a medication that not only reduced the risk of having a stroke but slashed the risk of dying from a stroke in half. It turns out there's a substance already on the market that does just that. Only, it isn't an expensive prescription drug but a delicious, natural food -- chocolate.
A report just released by Canadian scientists from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and the University of Toronto provides evidence that consuming chocolate regularly significantly reduces the odds of having a stroke. What's more, if a person who eats chocolate does suffer a stroke, their risk of dying afterwards is almost half that of non-chocolate eaters.
The research team reached these conclusions after analyzing three studies for any links between chocolate intake and strokes. Although one study didn't reveal any risk or benefit, two others did. A large study of 44,489 people showed that those who ate at least one serving of chocolate each week were 22 percent less likely to have a stroke than the research participants who didn't indulge in chocolate. Another study of 1,169 people found that when someone did experience a stroke, if they ate 50 grams of chocolate each week they were about 50 percent less likely to die afterwards than those who had strokes but didn't eat chocolate. The researchers stated that chocolate's abundant antioxidant content could be the key to its apparent stroke-protective effect.
"More research is needed to determine whether chocolate truly lowers stroke risk, or whether healthier people are simply more likely to eat chocolate than others," study author Sarah Sahib, BScCA, of McMaster University, said in a statement to the media. Historically, traditional healers have long contended that chocolate is good for body and spirit. For example, the ancient Aztecs and Mayans are believed to be the first people who drank a chocolate drink to help matters of the heart. And in recent years, scientists have found that some phytochemicals in chocolate can alter a person's sense of well being, producing a lift similar to the feeling of being in love. As NaturalNews has previously reported (http://www.naturalnews.com/023499_cocoa_diab...), Harvard Medical School scientists have discovered that cocoa, which is the main component of chocolate, may literally be good for the heart -- their research shows it could reduce the risk of heart disease and also cancer.