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Could Cocoa Flavanols Improve Heart Health?

There are now several small-scale randomized clinical trials demonstrating that the cocoa flavanols in amounts ranging between 400 and 900 mg/day may favorably affect several mechanisms and pathways that are related to cardiovascular disease prevention. And this includes effects on improving flow-mediated vasodilatation, lowering blood pressure, improving glucose tolerance, decreasing inflammation, and even slowing cognitive decline and age-related memory loss. 

However, we don"t yet have a large-scale, randomized clinical trial demonstrating that the cocoa flavanols can reduce the risk for clinical events, such as cutting rates of heart attacks and strokes. We"re now doing such a trial in 18,000 men and women around the country. This is called the COSMOS Trial, the cocoa supplement and multivitamin outcome study that is testing 600 mg/day of the cocoa flavanols.