COSMOS Trial Results: Cocoa Supplementation Shows Promise for CVD

Detail of cocoa fruit with pieces of chocolate and cocoa powder on raw cocoa beans.

Cocoa extract supplements may reduce cardiovascular death by 27%, according to the results of the COSMOS Trial, which looked at cocoa extract supplementation and multivitamin supplementation.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, was performed in total on 21,442 U.S. adults, including 12,666 women aged 65 years and older and 8,776 men aged 60 years and older, free of major CVD and recently diagnosed cancer. The intervention phase ran from June 2015 through December 2020.

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The cocoa extract intervention specifically gave participants either 500mg cocoa extract per day or a placebo. During a median follow-up of 3.6 years, 410 of the test group and 456 of the placebo group had confirmed total cardiovascular events.

While the cocoa extract didn’t significantly reduce cardiovascular events, the researchers are calling for additional research to clarify whether it could—especially since supplementation did reduce CVD death by 27%.