Boston — The largest research trial to determine the heart health benefits of cocoa flavanols is being conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with funding from Mars, Inc.
The research will evaluate the role flavanols play in reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke and death from cardiovascular disease during a five-year study of 18,000 men and women. The testing will also explore the impact of taking a daily multivitamin compared with placebos as follow up to previous research that suggests multivitamins might lower the risk of cancer.
JoAnn Manson, MD, chief of the division of Preventive Medicine at BWH, says: “Cocoa flavanols and multivitamins are two of the most promising and exciting nutritional interventions available, and this new randomized trial is the natural next step in advancing our understating of their potential benefits.”
Mars will provide the cocoa flavanols-containing capsules as well as financial support together with the Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of NIH.
Harold Schmitz, PhD, chief science officer for Mars, says: “This collaboration represents the best of a public-private partnership in the interest of advancing science and public health. It’s exiting to be at this turning point in scientific discovery where we have the potential to achieve benefits for some of our most significant health challenges today.”