Researchers have found a compound called epicatechin, commonly found in dark chocolate, protects the brain against stroke by shielding nerve cells .
A team of researchers based their findings on tests in mice and it is hoped the effects can be replicated in humans. The researchers gave the mice a dose of epicatechin and then induced a stroke in mice by cutting of blood supply to the animals' brains. They found that the animals that had taken the epicatechin had significantly less brain damage than the ones that had not been given the compound. And in positive news for eventual human trials, researchers found epicatechin was a better treatment for stroke than current methods.
Researchers from America's Johns Hopkins University say the findings could be important in the possible treatment of strokes.