FDA Recognizes Cardiovascular Benefits of Cocoa Flavanols!

Exciting News, Flava Fans! On Feb. 3rd, 2023 the FDA approved a qualified health claim stating that “Cocoa Flavanols in High Flavanol Cocoa Powder May Reduce Cardiovascular Disease”. 

The approved health claim is based on a 2018 filing stating that 200mg of cocoa flavanols can support heart health.  The FDA approved the claim but noted that scientific evidence is still very limited. This is not surprising considering the relatively low flavanol levels (200mg) under consideration.

Hindsight is 20/20 but studies such as the COSMOS trial published subsequent to the 2018 filing suggest that 500mg to 1,000mg daily may be needed to show the most robust cardiovascular benefits.  This is consistent with the new flavanol guidelines from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommending 400mg to 600mg to achieve improved cardio-metabolic outcomes.  

All that said, the new FDA qualified health claim is a big step forward in recognizing the enormous potential benefits of cocoa flavanols! Even if Flava Fans already knew:).