Created after more than a decade of research, CocoaVia
Mars first introduced CocoaVia
Mars is the global leader in cocoa science, collaborating with researchers at leading universities like Harvard and the University of California-Davis to explore the health benefits of cocoa flavanols – the powerhouse compounds found naturally in cocoa beans that are similar to those found in red wine and green tea. Scientists have been encouraged by the growing number of independent studies that indicate cocoa flavanols may help influence factors associated with clotting and promote a healthy blood flow. Other studies suggest that cocoa flavanols can improve the health of blood vessels and reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol that can lead to clogged arteries.
"It is clear that cocoa flavanols represent an intriguing new area of research with significant implications for nutrition and cardiovascular health," said Dr. Carl L. Keen, a professor of nutrition and internal medicine at the University of California-Davis, who has led multiple studies on the health benefits of cocoa flavanols.
It's in the Flavanols
While flavanols are found naturally in cocoa beans, traditional cocoa processing often destroys many of these potentially heart-healthy compounds.
"Flavanols are essentially missing from much of the chocolate on store shelves today," said Schmitz. "Research clearly shows that a high cocoa or dark chocolate content cannot guarantee that a product can deliver the same potential heart-health benefits as the Mars flavanol-rich cocoa.
After 15 years of scientific research on flavanols, Mars developed a patented and proprietary process called Cocoapro® that helps ensure the heart-healthy flavanols remain active and are not destroyed. This technology guarantees that CocoaVia
"The very exciting potential heart-health benefits of cocoa flavanols is not about simply adding more cocoa or consuming any dark chocolate," he added. "In fact, the percentage of cocoa in a product is meaningless. Research from several universities clearly shows that it's about retaining the flavanols from the cocoa bean so you're confident of enjoying a flavanol-rich, cocoa-based product."
Each serving of CocoaVia
Research conducted at the University of California-Davis and reported at the American Heart Association meeting this past November found that two servings of CocoaVia
"Natural plant sterols are a clinically proven ingredient that can lower blood cholesterol," said Schmitz, who directs a multi-million dollar research budget at Mars. "Many cardiologists and family physicians have been recommending sterol-fortified products like margarines to their at-risk patients as a way to help lower elevated cholesterol levels. Now, there's a great-tasting option that naturally combines these cholesterol-lowering benefits with the exciting potential cardiovascular health benefits of cocoa flavanols." Including natural plant sterols from soy in the diet has been recommended by the American Heart Association and the National Cholesterol Education Program as one lifestyle change that can lower cholesterol levels significantly. The Food and Drug Administration approved a health claim based on the evidence that natural plant sterols may help reduce heart disease risk by lowering cholesterol.
"When eaten everyday, CocoaVia
Captures Your Passion for Chocolate Pleasure
"While the product provides real chocolate pleasure, you will only find it in the healthy foods section, not the candy aisle" said Jim Cass, vice president of sales and marketing at Mars Nutrition for Health & Well-Being. "That's because it delivers real heart-health benefits supported by sound science."
The brand name "CocoaVia
"Who knows more about capturing great chocolate taste than Mars, the makers of some of the country's best-loved chocolate brands such as M&M'S®, Dove® Chocolates and Snickers®, " said Cass. "We've been able to maximize the flavor and the health benefits in one unique cocoa-based product."
Mars Nutrition for Health & Well-Being, a new division of Mars North America, will develop and launch new foods, snacks, beverages and lifestyle support to better serve the nutritional and well-being needs of the consumer. The mission of the division is to be a trusted partner in healthy lifestyles, enabling consumers to look, perform and feel their best every day. Mars Nutrition for Health & Well-Being, launched in June 2004, is based in Hackettstown, NJ.