New study: Dark chocolate to prevent brain damage from stroke

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A study reveals, Brain stroke is the cause for over four and half million deaths annually. Stroke affects nearly 700,000 individuals every year in United States alone, leaving nearly 40 percent of the sufferers permanently disabled. This is enough to signal the alarm for need to save your brains from the after effects of stroke. This you can do by eating ‘dark chocolates’. A new study has shown that anti oxidant are rich in dark chocolates that guard against the injuries caused to the brain as a result of the stroke.

Brain stroke is caused when oxygen supply to brain cells is disrupted. Stroke can leave the patient with lifelong disabilities to suffer or may also turn fatal.

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Researchers from Jhons Hopkins University, working to find ways to minimize the damage caused by brain strokes, have found that a natural compound called epicatechin, and its metabolites can help the cells to recoup after the stroke.

The university researchers experimented on two groups of mice. They fed one group with small amount of epicatechin. After 90 minutes, they induced ischemic strokes to both the group of animals. To their surprise, they found that those ingested with the compound, suffered less brain damage compared to the group which were not given epicatechin compound. The scientists found that nutrient was working on two established pathways, Nrf2 and heme oxygenase1, which gets activated to prevent damage of the nerve cells.

The compound will prove effective to the stroke patients only if it is administered within two to three hours of the stroke.

Research concluded that though it is established that epicatechin, compound found in dark chocolates are beneficial to stroke patients but it may not work directly. It does it by increasing signals to the nerve cells to accelerate their defense mechanism. While the amount of the epicatechin to be administered after the stroke is yet to be studied.

Anti-oxidants found in the dark chocolate are also helpful in regulating blood pressure which is the main cause of such strokes. A study conducted by German scientists proved that when dark chocolates were eaten by a group of hyper tension patients, their BP levels fell by five points.

Brain strokes are the second leading cause of death worldwide while third in the United States, after heart diseases and cancer. It is the leading cause of disability among US adults. Over 4million people who survived brain strokes are leading life with after effect disabilities.

This research is likely to provide faster access to better stroke care to the patients. Once the right amount of compound to be administered to the patient is confirmed by scientists, the stroke patients can prevent any major damage to the brain before they reach out for medical help.


Amanda Kidd is a blogger and writer. She loves writing on beauty and health. Recently her interest has grown in surgery and medicines used in cancer treatments.


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