- The COSMOS study is the only large, long-term randomized clinical trial designed to test whether cocoa flavanols can prevent stroke and heart disease.
- Cocoa flavanols have been clinically proven to boost the body’s natural supply of nitric oxide, which promotes healthy blood flow.
What Is the COSMOS Study?
Did you know?
Cocoa flavanols continue to be one of the most researched plant-based nutrients in the world as scientists explore new ways they can support the heart, brain, and body. One of the latest studies is the Cocoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS), the largest clinical dietary study investigating the long-term impact of cocoa flavanols and multivitamins on health.
COSMOS is an investigator-initiated large-scale, five-year trial run by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Approximately 21,000 healthy men and women aged 60 and older across the United States participated in this randomized, double-blinded placebo-controlled study.
Study participants - the oldest who was 102 years old - were asked to take three study pills every day for four years: two cocoa extract or placebo capsules and one multivitamin or a placebo tablet. They had to avoid other multivitamins and cocoa extract supplements. Participants may not have had a history of heart attack or stroke or have had cancer in the past two years (excluding skin cancer).
What Does the COSMOS Aim to Uncover?
The COSMOS study is a landmark trial that will help determine whether daily 500 mg/d supplements of cocoa flavanols and/or a multivitamin supplement taken over a four-year period can impact heart health. The study concluded in December 2020, and results will be available March 2022.
The COSMOS study is unique because it’s:
- The only large, long-term randomized clinical supplement trial designed to test whether cocoa flavanols can prevent stroke and heart disease.
- One of only two large trials to test a multivitamin that contains an array of vitamins and minerals to help meet recommended daily intakes, and the only study of its type to include both male and female in cardiovascular health and cancer.
The Importance of COSMOS Study Results
COSMOS results will help determine whether daily use of cocoa flavanols could play a positive role in the maintenance of cardiovascular health.
Through decades of research, cocoa flavanols have already been clinically proven to benefit the heart, brain, and body. By boosting the body’s natural supply of nitric oxide, cocoa flavanols promote healthy blood flow from head to toe. Nitric oxide is a supermolecule that plays several important physiological roles, including helping promote the relaxation of blood vessels (vasodilation). Increased blood flow enables oxygen and nutrients to reach every organ, muscle, and tissue in the body, which can help improve memory, keep the heart healthy, and help people perform at their best.
Having safe, affordable, and tolerable options, such as cocoa flavanols, to support heart and brain health could have exciting public health implications. In addition, since COSMOS is the first trial of multivitamins to include women, the trial directors are expecting that favorable results will help establish guidelines on how multivitamins could be used to support the health of the general population.
Want to Further Pursue Your Cocoa Education?
The results from the COSMOS study aren’t available yet, but you can learn more about this important research endeavor on its official site, including its importance; ancillary studies; research details; and the latest study news.
You can also get a head start on your cocoa flavanol education with help from CocoaVia™. Visit our “See the Science” page and learn more about the previous research behind cocoa flavanols, the cocoa extract supplement found in each serving of CocoaVia™ Capsules and Powder. More than 30 clinical studies have proven the efficacy of cocoa flavanols across a variety of health benefits, including cardiovascular, memory, brain, and total body health. Discover why cocoa has been dubbed nature’s most surprising superfood.