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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.


Researchers Find Adding a Banana Decreased the Level of Flavanols in Smoothies

The results of the study, “Impact of polyphenol oxidase on the bioavailability of flavan-3-ols in fruit smoothies: a controlled, single- blind, crossover study” have been published in the journal Food & Function, a scientific journal published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

In this study, researchers at UC Davis and the University of Reading, in collaboration with Mars Edge, investigated how the preparation and combinations of fruits and vegetables can affect the amount of flavanols available to be absorbed after intake.

How researchers

How researchers concluded that a low-flavanol diet is linked to age-related memory

Scientific interest in the role of flavanols and diet in normal cognitive aging has been growing – this has been the context for the ongoing collaboration between scientists at Columbia University’s Irving Medical Center and Mars Edge.

Our most recent paper, published in collaboration with researchers at Columbia University and the University of Reading, is an independent trial conducted under the umbrella of COSMOS, led by Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

New research

New research shows theobromine can increase absorption of cocoa flavanols

It is widely known that certain combinations of foods and dietary compounds my modulate the absorption and effect of specific nutrients and bioactives in the diet.

In a recent study, Javier Ottaviani, Director of the Mars Edge Core Laboratory at UC Davis, discusses his team’s new research that investigated an emerging area that may modulate flavanols effect: the interaction between flavanols and caffeine and other related compounds in the diet. Read more about this emerging science in Dr. Ottaviani’s blog post.


The first authoritative dietary recommendation for flavanols

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has issued a first-of-its-kind recommendation of daily flavanol intake to support cardiometabolic health. Dr Catherine Kwik-Uribe discusses the significance of this milestone and how understanding of flavanols and health is advancing for the benefit of the public.

What are cocoa flavanols?
Research library
The COSMOS trial
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