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Mars Edge statement on cocoa flavanol research

Researchers at Columbia University’s Irving Medical Centre, in collaboration with Mars Edge scientists, recently published a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to assess the impact of diet quality and flavanol intake on cognitive aging.

To investigate the effects of cocoa flavanols on memory and cognitive performance the study used a concentrated cocoa extract. Chocolate was not used in this study and the findings should not be linked to chocolate.

This distinction is important and is clearly stated in all Mars’ communications about the study. We do not use our research to promote chocolate consumption. We are clear on this point: chocolate is a treat and not a health food. Cocoa flavanols are widely studied for their health properties. Mars’ research focuses specifically on their potential benefits so as to translate these finding into the development of evidence-based products that support health as we age.

Cocoa flavanols are often destroyed during normal cocoa and chocolate processing. So, while chocolate may contain some cocoa flavanols, it is not a reliable source of these compounds and does not have the right nutritional qualities to be a health food. Mars’ research program into cocoa flavanols has not used chocolate for over a decade.