The dark chocolate prevents brain damage from ischemic stroke

A study by the John Hopkins would reveal the positive effects of epicatechin, the study starts from observations of a population of the coast of Panama.

Chocolate strikes again. In this case it would be dark chocolate, or rather of epicatechin, a compound found in their famous food. Researchers at John Hopkins University School of Medicine have performed a series of experiments in which, by inducing an ischemic stroke in the mouse brain for lack of blood flow, revealed minor brain damage in mice that had ingested epicatechin ninety minutes before.

Structure of epicatechin

The most interesting aspect of the effects of epicatechin is that it seems to limit brain damage even if taken 3.5 hours after the stroke, in contrast to other treatments which must be implemented within the three hours after the ischemic. However, it is noteworthy that, when administered after six hours of stroke, the epicatechin shows no positive effect.

According to Sylvain Dor, associate professor of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, epicatechin stimulates two pathways of neuronal protection, which prepares the brain to react against.

The streets stimulated by epicatechin were identified Nrf2 and heme oxygenase 1 (HO1), known to the protective effect on nerve cells. Private mice selectively of these two streets do not survive stroke and in fact reported no beneficial effect in the use dell'epatechina. The hope of Dor is that these findings will lead to treatments designed to limit brain damage in stroke and chronic conditions, albeit one based therapy epatechina man has not yet been quantified in the study with clinical trials.

X-ray crystallography of human HO1

"The epicatechin and its metabolites may cause cells to defend themselves."

The first curiosity consumption epatechina in the scientific community are born in the study of the Kuna Indians on the coast of Panama, with a low incidence of cardiovascular diseases in which there was no detectable genetic characteristics related to this statistic. We also realized that members of the public Remote lost that immunity if they walked away from the area and changed habits; the environmental factor was probably one drink regularly consumed cocoa bitter, very dense, high in epatechina.

But we have to disappoint all those who rejoice at such news, hoping to jump to an immoderate consumption of dark chocolate: epicatechin found in dark chocolate is very sensitive to heat and light, is easily destroyed in treatments for the creation of sweets and then the term "chocolate" is not sufficient to ensure a significant contribution of epicatechin. In addition, it should be remembered, a healthy and balanced diet is the basis of wellbeing.

Source: EurekAlert!


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    1. May 7, 2010 at 19:11 | # 1

      I also read somewhere (if I find the link I'll post) that can be used to treat migraines and cervical ...

    1. May 8, 2010 at 3:10 | # 1

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