"Le bon Dieu est dans le détail" (the good God is in the detail) - Gustave Flaubert (1821–1880).
I thought this quote a propos given how loosely trial results are translated into headlines & sound bites. In the EPICOR study to be published next year (doesn't that sound so far off in the distance?), researchers of the Italian cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer & Nutrition followed 41,620 participants for an average of 7.9 years and concluded that those who consumed the most dietary antioxidants had the lowest risk of ischemic stroke but not hemorrhagic stroke. That's the difference between the water pipes in your house clogging vs bursting.
In fact, there was a 47% relative risk reduction by comparing those who ate the most to those who had the lowest total antioxidant capacity. Please note, however, taking a handful of pills hasn't been proven to be equivalent to the daily & regular consumption of larger amounts of coffee, wine, fruit, chocolate, vegetables & soups, tea, and fruit juices as dietary sources of antioxidants. When broken down further, vitamin C was found to be especially helpful in preventing ischemic strokes while vitamin E was associated with increase risk of hemorrhagic strokes.
The take-home message hasn't changed over these past 12 months. Make better, healthier, food choices, eg eat your fruits & veggies every day. A little bit of wine & some high cocoa-content dark chocolate appears to be good for you, too. So make a resolution to lower your stroke risk in 2011. A votre sante!