Dark Chocolate Guards Against Brain Injury

Researchers have discovered that epicatechin, a compound in dark chocolate, may protect your brain after a stroke by increasing cellular signals that shield nerve cells from damage.

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An hour and a half after feeding mice a single dose of epicatechin, animals that had ingested the compound suffered significantly less brain damage following an induced stroke.

Eurekalert reports:
“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.”

Resources:
Eurekalert May 5, 2010
Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism May 5, 2010 [Epub ahead of print]

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