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Welcome to the Mars Edge Cocoa Flavanol Science Hub

cocoa pods and other fruits

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
Cocoa flavanols offer benefits for heart and brain health

Research shows dietary flavanols–including those derived from cocoa–offer important benefits to human health. For over 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 surrounded by other fruit on a table

How analytical methods underpin insights into the benefits of flavanols

Javier Ottaviani, Director of the Mars Edge Core Laboratory at UC Davis, shares his insights about the importance of analytical methods in underpinning the accuracy and objectivity of nutritional research.

In his blog, he also outlines analytical methods to measure and accurately report on bioactives in food and the human body.

20 years of research infographic

20 Years of Cocoa Flavanol Research

Over the last 20 years, we’ve been studying the flavanols in cocoa, creating a world-leading research program to jointly advance the understanding of these compounds and their potential to maintain and optimize health.

Together with our global partners, we’ve contributed to a growing body of evidence that shows regular
consumption of flavanols can support, and even improve, cardiovascular and cognitive function.

COSMOS trial logo


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 over 21,000 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.

What are cocoa flavanols?
Research library
The COSMOS trial
News and events