Questions raised over health claims concerning cocoa

Amid numerous claims from within the confectionary industry pertaining to certain health benefits of cocoa, the European Food & Safety Authority (EFSA) has dealt a blow, in the form of a report saying there is “insufficient” evidence to support such claims.

The Dietary Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) panel, part of the EFSA, that deals with such issues as well as those surrounding novel foods, compared various studies focusing on the effect of cocoa flavanols as an antioxidant and as a means of maintaining normal blood pressure.

After consideration, the Panel concluded that the evidence from the controlled trials of the “vascular” health claim was “inconsistent”; while the investigation into the “oxidative stress reduction” of cocoa showed “no effect of cocoa flavanols was observed on plasma concentrations of oxidised LDL particles”.

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