Coffee may lower stroke risk for women, says study

Chocolate lovers may have yet another reason to love chocolate. Flavonoids are compounds found in high concentrations in cocoa, tea, wine, and grapes - and they appear to have beneficial effects on blood pressure. Diets high in cocoa have been found to lower blood pressure, although rates vary depending on the substance (for example, tea did not appear to have any benefit). istockphoto

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istockphoto

(CBS) Ladies, you knew there was a good reason for that double mochachino you have every morning and maybe that one at lunch too.

Well, a new research shows how clever you have been, at least when it comes to stroke risk.

Women in a Swedish study who drank at least a cup of coffee every day had a 22 to 25 percent lower risk of stroke, compared to those who drank less coffee or none at all.

"Coffee drinkers should rejoice," said Dr. Sharonne N. Hayes, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "Coffee is often made out to be potentially bad for your heart. There really hasn't been any study that convincingly said coffee is bad."

"If you are drinking coffee now, you may be doing some good and you are likely not doing harm," she added.

The research, led by Susanna Larsson at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, comes with the usual caveats: more research is needed and the cause of the benefit isn't clear. It could be reducing inflammation and improving insulin sensitivity, Larsson theorized, or it could be the antioxidants in coffee.

As for your mochachino, no word yet on the benefits of whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

The findings were published online Thursday in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

  • Neil Katz

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