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Welcome to the Mars Edge Cocoa Flavanol Science Hub

colorful cocoa pods laying on a pile of cocoa leaves

Our Vision

At Mars Edge, we collaborate with a global network of leading scientific partners to further research into cocoa flavanols and health – and contribute to better lives through nutrition. We do so because we believe that:

 

Health is more than the absence of disease
Health is more than the absence of disease

We believe it’s important to establish biomarkers of health when assessing the impact of nutrition, rather than rely solely on a definition of health based on the "absence of disease."

 

Nutrition has a massive impact on health
Nutrition has a massive impact on health

We believe insights into the role of dietary status and nutrient intake are key to our health.

 

Bioactives show huge promise
Bioactives show huge promise

In the context of a healthy diet, we believe there is a need to broaden today’s essential nutrient-centric approach and include bioactive food constituents in scientific assessment and, if warranted, in recommendations for diet and health.

 

Biomedical research has shown the benefits of cocoa flavanols
Biomedical research has shown the benefits of cocoa flavanols for heart and brain health

Research shows dietary flavanols–including those derived from cocoa–offer important benefits to human health. For more than 20 years, we have been studying cocoa flavanols to understand their role in supporting health and, potentially even improving outcomes related to certain diseases.

Cocoa pods laying on cocoa beans and leaves

(–)-epicatechin: The critical component of cocoa flavanols

Javier Ottaviani, Director of the Mars Edge Core Laboratory at UC Davis, shares his interest in (–)-epicatechin, a critical, biologically active component of cocoa flavanols that can have a positive impact on health.

He highlights Mars Edge’s past research into the compound and its benefits to cardiovascular health, however warning that processing cocoa impacts the level of (−)-epicatechin, and subsequently these benefits.

Aged adults walking and laughing

Diet quality and increased flavanol intake may be linked to improved memory

Diet quality and dietary flavanols may be linked to age-related memory function and could have an important role to play in slowing declines associated with normal aging.

A recent collaboration between Columbia University’s Irving Medical Centre and Mars Edge used concentrated cocoa extract capsules to investigate the effects of cocoa flavanols on memory and cognitive performance. Chocolate was not used in this study and the findings should not be linked to chocolate.

COSMOS trial logo

COSMOS Study

COSMOS (the Cocoa Supplement and Multivitamins Outcome Study) is the largest clinical dietary intervention examining the impact of intake of cocoa flanavols and multivitamins on health and risks of heart disease, stroke and cancer.

It examines 22,000 generally healthy men and women over 60 in the U.S., and takes place over 5 years. The trial is run by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

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