Food Politics

by Marion Nestle
Nov 4 2015

Does eating eggs raise blood cholesterol levels?

The Physicans Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a group advocating against use of animals in research but for vegetarian and vegan diets, has started a campaign to restore egg-and-cholesterol recommendations to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Eggs are the largest source of cholesterol in American diets.

The campaign involves billboards like this one, in six locations in Texas:


It also involves a new organization ( with an interactive website on a dozen issues related to egg production and consumption.

The one that particularly caught my eye was #5.

A 2013 review suggested that high-cholesterol foods have only a modest effect on blood cholesterol. Of the 12 studies it relied on, 11 were industry-funded.

In a letter to Congressman K. Michael Conaway (Rep-TX), Dr. Neal Barnard, PCRM’s president, wrote:

This week, billboards near your Texas offices will alert you to the dangers Americans face if cholesterol warnings are removed…Eggs are the leading source of cholesterol in the American diet.  A report (which I’ve included for your review) in the autumn 2015 Good Medicine magazine finds that this recommendation may have been influenced by egg-industry-funded cholesterol research. America’s heart disease and diabetes epidemics will continue unabated if the egg industry succeeds in its efforts to get cholesterol warnings out of the guidelines.

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) said this about dietary cholesterol.

Cholesterol. Previously, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that cholesterol intake be limited to no more than 300 mg/day. The 2015 DGAC will not bring forward this recommendation because available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol, consistent with the conclusions of the AHA/ACC report.2,35 Cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.

The DGAC based its unconcern about dietary cholesterol on two references:

2.  Eckel RH, Jakicic JM, Ard JD, de Jesus JM, Houston Miller N, Hubbard VS, et al. 2013 AHA/ACC guideline on lifestyle management to reduce cardiovascular risk: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation. 2014;129(25 Suppl 2):S76-99. PMID: 24222015. Its conclusion:

There is insufficient evidence to determine whether lowering dietary cholesterol reduces LDL–C.

35.  Shin JY, Xun P, Nakamura Y, He K. Egg consumption in relation to risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013;98(1):146-59. PMID: 23676423. This study, which was also independently funded, concluded:

compared with those who never consume eggs, those who eat 1 egg per day or more are 42% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Among diabetic patients, frequent egg consumers (ie, > 1 egg/d) are 69% more likely to have CVD comorbidity…This meta-analysis suggests that egg consumption is not associated with the risk of CVD and cardiac mortality in the general population. However, egg consumption may be associated with an increased incidence of type 2 diabetes among the general population and CVD comorbidity among diabetic patients.

Were these references based largely on studies funded by the egg industry?  If so, PCRM is correct in arguing that the question of egg consumption and blood cholesterol levels merits much closer scrutiny and analysis than it is currently receiving.

What does a study funded by the egg industry look like?  Here are two one from my recent collection:

The effect of a high-egg diet on cardiovascular risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes: the Diabetes and Egg (DIABEGG) study—a 3-mo randomized controlled trial, by Nicholas R Fuller, Ian D Caterson, Amanda Sainsbury, Gareth Denyer, Mackenzie Fong, James Gerofi, Katherine Baqleh, Kathryn H Williams, Namson S Lau, and Tania P Markovic.  Am J Clin Nutr 2015; 101:705-713.

  • Conclusion: High egg consumption did not have an adverse effect on the lipid profile of people with T2D [type 2 diabetes] in the context of increased MUFA [monounsaturated fatty acid] and PUFA [polyunsaturated fatty acid] consumption. This study suggests that a high-egg diet can be included safely as part of the dietary management of T2D, and it may provide greater satiety.
  • Sponsor: Australian Egg Corporation

Dietary cholesterol and cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Berger, S., Raman, G., Vishwanathan, R., Jacques, P.F., Johnson, E.J., 2015. Am J Clin Nutr ajcn100305. doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.100305.  Am J Clin Nutr August 2015
vol. 102 no. 2 276-294

  • Conclusion: Reviewed studies were heterogeneous and lacked the methodologic rigor to draw any conclusions regarding the effects of dietary cholesterol on CVD risk.  [Implication: suggestions that eggs might raise cardiovascular risk are unwarranted]
  • Sponsor: Supported by USDA agreement 1950-51000-073 and the American Egg Board, Egg Nutrition Center.  The funders did not have a role in the study selection, quality assessment, data synthesis, or manuscript preparation.
Nov 3 2015

Food-Navigator-USA’s roundup of articles on bakery and snack trends

Snacks are trending.  As Food-Navigator-USA’s analysts see it, “there are new opportunities in gluten-free, ethnic breads and gourmet bakery items, while snack makers are tapping into consumer demand for ancient grains and seeds, plant-based proteins, and bean, pea and lentil-based ingredients….Americans are increasingly abandoning three square meals a day for serial snacking.”

Nov 2 2015

WHO clarifies meat-and-cancer report

The World Health Organization has issued a statement of clarification of the significance of its International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) report on the increased risk for colorectal cancer from eating processed and red meat (see my post on this).

The latest IARC review does not ask people to stop eating processed meats but indicates that reducing consumption of these products can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

Got that?

The New York Times explains the meaning of this increased risk.  To understand it, you need to know the risk of colorectal cancer among people who never eat processed or red meat.

The main problem with the public health messages put out by the W.H.O. is that the agency did a poor job of explaining what its risk-ranking system really means…it’s based only on the strength of the overall research, not on the actual danger of a specific product…Even the most strident anti-meat crusader knows that eating bacon is not as risky as smoking or asbestos exposure. Smoking raises a person’s lifetime risk of developing lung cancer by a staggering 2,500 percent. Meanwhile, two daily strips of bacon, based on the associations identified by the W.H.O., would translate to about a 6 percent lifetime risk for colon cancer, up from the 5 percent risk for people who don’t enjoy bacon or other processed meats.

My interpretation: Can processed and red meats be included in healthful diets?  Yes, of course.  But for many reasons, people and the planet would be healthier if these foods were consumed in smaller portions, less often.

Oct 30 2015

Clean Water rules: Will Congress just say no?

Today’s Politico Morning Agriculture report has this brief note:

SENATE TO TAKE UP WOTUS FIX: The Clean Water Rule’s days could be numbered. The Senate could as early as next week take up a bill from Sen. John Barrasso to require the EPA to withdraw its Clean Water Rule and re-draft the measure with the help of states and other affected groups…The bill has the backing of 46 senators…Given that the House has already passed a similar measure, a “yea” vote from the Senate could signal a quick demise for the rule.

This sent me to try to understand what the Clean Water Rule is about and why so many groups want to get rid of it.

In June, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule defining the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) covered by its regulations. This, as far as I can tell, extends regulatory protection beyond large streams to the small streams that flow into them.

On its website devoted to this rule, the EPA says “The rule ensures that waters protected under the Clean Water Act are more precisely defined, more predictably determined, and easier for businesses and industry to understand.”

Maybe so, but I’m having a hard time understanding how the new rules would require agricultural producers to clean up the waste they discharge into local streams.

The agricultural implications are particularly contentious—think of the huge volumes of animal waste delivered to streams by Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) or of pesticides and herbicides running off from mega-farms.

But the EPA insists that there are no changes to the current rules that exempt agriculture from having to protect local water supplies.

Agricultural producers evidently do not believe this. They have done everything possible to block the rules and apparently will succeed in this effort.

The strength of the opposition—farm organizations, golf course groups, municipalities—suggests that somewhere in these rules must be restrictions on discharges into water supplies.    If so, the Clean Water rules deserve plenty of support.

I wish I could find a clear, straightforward explanation of what the WOTUS rules would do.  If the rules are overturned, which it looks like they will be, I’m wondering if this is because only lobbyists can understand the details and implications.

This document from the American Water Works Association has useful diagrams illustrating which streams are affected by the EPA’s rules.

Are any groups supporting the WOTUS rules?  If so, they are very quiet.


The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC)’s position paper on the failings of the Clean Water Rule

Oct 29 2015

Another 5 industry-funded nutrition studies with results favorable to the sponsor. The score: 75:6

I’ve managed to collect another five industry-sponsored studies with results that the funder must love, bringing the total to 75 since mid-March.  As always, please keep your eye out for industry-funded studies that are contrary to the sponsor’s interests.  I’ve only managed to find 6 so far.

Dairy products consumption and metabolic syndrome in adults: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studiesGuo-Chong Chen, Ignatius M. Y. Szeto, Li-Hua Chen, Shu-Fen Han, Yan-Jie Li, Rina van Hekezen, and Li-Qiang Qin.. Science Reports. 2015; 5: 14606. Published online 2015 Sep 29. doi:  10.1038/srep14606

  • Conclusions: Higher dairy consumption significantly reduced MetS [metabolic syndrome] by 17% in the cross-sectional/case-control studies…and by 14%…in cohort studies….Our findings suggest an inverse dose-response relationship between dairy consumption and risk of MetS.
  • Funding: This study was supported by Yili Innovation Center, Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co., Ltd. The funding source had no role in the design or conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, or interpretation of the data; or preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.
  • Comment: The Yili Group is a privately owned Chinese company headquartered in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, engaged in processing and manufacturing milk products, including ice-cream, powdered milk, milk tea powder, sterilized milk and fresh milk.

Energy compensation following consumption of sugar‑reduced products: a randomized controlled trial.  Oonagh Markey · Julia Le Jeune · Julie A. Lovegrove  Eur J Nutr First online: 09 September 2015 DOI 10.1007/s00394-015-1028-5.

  • Conclusion: Consumption of sugar-reduced products, as part of a blinded dietary exchange for an 8-week period, resulted in a significant reduction in sugar intake. Body weight did not change significantly, which we propose was due to energy compensation.
  • Conflict of interest. This work was supported by Sugar Nutrition UK; however, the sponsor had no input into the study hypothesis and design, data analysis and interpretation.
  • Comment: It is in the interest of sugar trade associations to demonstrate that eating less sugar has no effect on body weight. 

Trends in Sugar-Sweetened Beverages: Are Public Health and the Market Aligned or in Conflict?  William Shrapnel.  Nutrients 2015, 7(9), 8189-8198; doi:10.3390/nu7095390.

  • Conclusions: drinks containing non-nutritive sweeteners enable the “small change” in health behaviour that individuals are willing to consider…Among those who currently consume carbonated beverages, the “small change” involved in moving from a sugar-sweetened beverage to a similar sugar-free beverage appears to be one that some consumers are willing to accept.  Facilitating this change may be a more productive public health strategy than advocacy for taxation of sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Author disclosure: William Shrapnel was paid a consultancy fee by the Australian Beverage Council Ltd. to prepare this paper…The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Dietary Intervention for Overweight and Obese Adults: Comparison of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets. A Meta-Analysis.  Jonathan Sackner-Bernstein, David Kanter,  Sanjay Kaul.  PLoS One, October 20, 2015.  DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0139817.

  • Conclusions: In conclusion, this trial-level meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials shows that both LoCHO and LoFAT diets are effective in reducing weight. However, LoCHO diet appears to achieve greater weight loss and reduction in predicted risk of ASCVD [atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease] events compared with LoFAT diet. On the basis of these results, we suggest that dietary recommendations for weight loss should be revisited to consider this additional evidence of the benefits of LoCHO diets.
  • Funding: The study was supported by Atkins Nutritionals….Jonathan Sackner-Bernstein owns and may receive compensation from ExVivos, LLC. ExVivos, LLC provided payment to authors (DK and SK) for their role as contractors to ExVivos, LLC.
  • Comment: ExVivos, LLC has one employee—Jonathan Sackner-Bernstein.  Atkins Nutritionals markets a low-carbohydrate diet plan.

Breast-feeding and postpartum maternal weight trajectories.  Laura Mullaney, Amy C O’Higgins, Shona Cawley, Rachel Kennedy, Daniel McCartney and Michael J Turner.

  • Conclusions: There are many reasons why breast-feeding should be strongly promoted but we found no evidence to support postpartum weight management as an advantage of breast-feeding.
  • Financial support: This project was supported by the UCD Centre for Human Reproduction and was partially funded by an unlimited educational grant from Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition for the first author.
  • Comment: Food companies often provide scholarships for doctoral research.  This particular arrangement raises some tough questions: Should dissertation research supervisors allow their students to accept such funding?  Or does accepting such an award run the risk of compromising the integrity of the student’s work?
Oct 28 2015

Sugar science and politics: a roundup

First, the science

Study: obese kids lose weight and improve metabolic markers when sugars are removed from their dietsThe pediatrician Robert Lustig and his colleagues removed all sources of sugar from the diets of 43 extremely obese Latino and African-American children and teens, replacing the lost calories with starchy foods.  After nine days, the kids lost a little weight and greatly improved their metabolic markers.  We can argue about whether the effects are due to reduced calories, sugars, or fructose, and whether the results will hold up over a longer time period (as is explained in a careful critique).  But what’s impressive is that it took only nine days to achieve highly statistically significant and beneficial improvements to occur.   This finding deserves further research. 

And now the politics

Action for Health Food supports Added Sugars on food labelsI learned this from Politico Pro Morning Agriculture.  The group, backed by Houston philanthropists Laura and John Arnold, support Added Sugars on food labels.  Action for Healthy Food says that it works with communities to inform consumers about the health effects of added sugars and where they are in food and drinks, and to support policies to help people reduce sugar intake and the amount of sugar in foods.

The International Food Information Council (IFIC) opposes Added Sugars labels.  Such labels, it says, “run counter to rigorous research by the IFIC Foundation and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) demonstrating that consumers instead could be misled, not enlightened, by the addition of an ‘Added Sugars’ line.”

Also from Politico Pro Agriculture: Sam Kass favors Added Sugars labels.  Helena Bottemiller Evich did the interview:

Are you following the Nutrition Facts panel debate going on right now? There’s a divide in the food industry on the issue of labeling added sugars. You have Nestle and Mars supporting added sugars labeling and a Daily Value, but there’s also fierce opposition on the other side. I think it’s clear that this issue is a high priority for the administration. Do you think that will come to fruition? Has that ship sailed?

In my book, that ship has sailed. It’s absolutely the right thing to do for consumers. I think the FDA knows that and that’s why they proposed it. I think the evidence firmly backs it and I just don’t see a good argument not to do it. I think there’s fierce opposition because some of these companies are putting way too much added sugars in their products, and they don’t want that to be pointed out. But just like trans fats, this is one of these things where the health issues are pretty clear. I just don’t see any legitimacy in their pushback.

They argue that people will be confused by the label.

Yeah, that’s a nice claim.

They have studies showing that people are confused.

I’m sure they do. Money can buy whatever outcome you want. But I just think this one is clear as day, especially when you look at the diabetes epidemic and the relation to added sugars and health outcomes in this country.

Another from Politico Pro Agriculture: Nestlé and Mars have split with the Grocery Manufacturers Association over Added Sugars labeling.  “While the nation’s leading food group, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, welcomes the FDA’s labeling proposal about as much as it would a toothache, the pair of global powerhouses…are voicing support for even the thorniest details of the Obama administration’s plans, both in the regulatory docket and in the media.”  FDA’s own research in support of Added Sugars leaves room for debate.

The courts have rejected class action claims about Whole Foods’ use of the term “evaporated cane juice.   The plaintiff argued that this is a euphemism for sugar and is only used to hide sugar on foods labels.  The judge called the plaintiff “clueless, as elsewhere in his testimony he implies he knew ECJ was an unrefined form of added sugar: Added unrefined sugar is added sugar, no matter how Plaintiff tries to spin it.”

It’s Halloween and the Candy Industry is happy.  The industry considers October 31 its “Super Bowl,” with sales expected to hit a record $2.6 billion, according to Politico.  The candy industry complains that sugar is being demonized by “public activists.”  It is fighting to eliminate tariffs and quotas that protect sugar farmers and keep the price of U.S. sugar higher than on world markets. He said candy “plays a special, unique role in people’s lives in terms of a happy and balanced lifestyle, and it really is a moment of pleasure.”

On that note, trick or treat?

Oct 27 2015

Some comments on the meat-is-carcinogenic report

Yesterday, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) issued a warning about the carcinogenic potential of processed and red meat.  This, as you might expect, caused a media flurry.  CNN News asked me for a written comment.  They titled it “The other benefit to eating less red meat.”  Here’s what I wrote:

The just-released report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer judging processed meat as clearly carcinogenic and red meat as probably carcinogenic has caused consternation among meat producers and consumers.

Meat producers do not like the “eat less meat” message. Consumers do not want to give up their bacon and hamburgers — delicious and also icons of the American way of life.

But these judgments should come as no surprise to anyone. Eating less processed and red meat has been accepted dietary advice since Ancel and Margaret Keys wrote their diet book for heart disease prevention, “Eat Well and Stay Well,” in 1959. Their advice: “restrict saturated fats, the fats in beef, pork, lamb, sausages …” They aimed this advice at reducing saturated fat to prevent heart disease. Federal committees and agencies have continued issuing such heart-disease advice to the present day.

Cancer entered the picture in the 1970s, when scientists began to link red meat — beef, pork, lamb — to the risk of cancers of the colon and rectum. Even after several decades of research, they had a hard time deciding whether the culprit in meat was fat, saturated fat, protein, carcinogens induced when meat is cooked to high temperatures or some other component.

In the mid-1990s, dietary guidelines committees advised eating lean meats and limiting intake of processed meats, still because of their high fat content. By the late 1990s, cancer experts said that red meat “probably” increases the risk of colorectal cancers, and “possibly” increases the risk of cancers of the pancreas, breast, prostate and kidney. The IARC report, based on more recent evidence, makes even stronger recommendations and favors carcinogens as the causative factors.

To put this in context: For decades, the meat industry’s big public relations problem has been that vegetarians are demonstrably healthier than meat eaters. People who do not eat red meat havemuch less of a chance of developing heart disease and bowel cancers than the average American.

More recently, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) found diets “higher in red/processed meats…” to be associated with a greater risk of colorectal cancer, and it recommended dietary patterns and low in red and/or processed meats, but higher in vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, lean meats/seafood and low-fat dairy — largely, but not necessarily exclusively, plant-based.

This is good advice for anyone.

Eating less red and processed meats has two benefits: a reduced risk for certain forms of cancer,and a reduced effect on climate change.

The DGAC deemed eating less red meat to be exceptionally beneficial to the environment as well as to human health. The IARC report strengthens the health component of the recommendation. The secretaries of USDA and Health and Human Services, however, have refused to allow environmental concerns to be considered in the 2015 dietary guidelines.

I mention the dispute over environmental “sustainability” in the dietary guidelines because largely plant-based diets are appropriate for all kinds of health concerns — obesity, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and now, especially, colorectal cancer — as well as environmental concerns.

By eating less red and processed meats, you promote both your own health and that of the planet.

At issue then is how much red and processed meat is compatible with good health. The IARC commission ducked that question, although it cites evidence that as little as 100 grams (a quarter pound) of red meat a day, and half that much of processed meats, increases cancer risk by 15% to 20%.

Will an occasional hamburger or piece of bacon raise your risk that much? I don’t think so. But the evidence reviewed by IARC strongly suggests that if you do eat meat, eat less when you do, don’t eat meat every day, save processed meats for rare treats and be sure to eat plenty of vegetables.

Fortunately, this advice leaves plenty of room for delicious meals — just with meat taking up much less room on the plate.

Other comments

Oct 26 2015

Here’s why food companies sponsor research: Mars Inc.’s CocoaVia

In case you were wondering why food companies would bother to sponsor research, consider CocoaVia, a chocolate derivative.

At the New York Times’ Food for Tomorrow conference last week, Mars, Inc., gave out samples of CocoaVia cocoa extract.Capture

Here’s the one with sweetened dark chocolate.


And here’s the health claim.


Mind you, “Promotes a healthy heart by supporting healthy blood flow” is not an FDA-approved health claim.  CocoaVia is being marketed as a dietary supplement, not a food.   The label says it’s a “daily cocoa extract supplement,” and has a Supplement Facts label rather than the Nutrition Facts label used for foods.

It’s interesting that Mars, Inc. originally marketed CocoaVia as chocolate bars.  The FDA considers candy bars to be foods, labeled with Nutrition Facts.

But by marketing CocoaVia as a supplement, Mars, Inc. can take advantage of the permissive marketing allowed by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994.  This act allows “structure/function” claims on supplements like the one used by CocoaVia.  By marketing CocoaVia flavanols as supplements, Mars, Inc. does not have to adhere to the FDA’s more restrictive requirements for health claims on food packages.

I’m surprised that Mars, Inc. is using the supplement route because the company has gone to a lot of trouble to establish a scientific basis for a health claim for its processed cocoa flavanols.

Is it possible that Mars, Inc. thinks the cocoa flavanol claim won’t hold up to FDA scrutiny.

Here again are the three studies funded by Mars, Inc. (I posted them as examples of industry-funded studies with results favorable to the sponsor’s interest).

1. Cocoa flavanol consumption improves cognitive function, blood pressure control, and metabolic profile in elderly subjects: the Cocoa, Cognition, and Aging (CoCoA) Study—a randomized controlled trialby Daniela Mastroiacovo, Catherine Kwik-Uribe, Davide Grassi, Stefano Necozione, Angelo Raffaele, Luana Pistacchio, Roberta Righetti, Raffaella Bocale, Maria Carmela Lechiara, Carmine Marini, Claudio Ferri, and Giovambattista Desideri.  Am J Clin Nutr 2015; 101:538-548 doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.092189.

  • Conclusion: These data suggest that the habitual intake of flavanols can support healthy cognitive function with age.
  • Sponsor: Mars, Inc.

2.  Impact of cocoa flavanol intake on age-dependent vascular stiffness in healthy men: a randomized, controlled, double-masked trial.  Christian Heiss & Roberto Sansone & Hakima Karimi & Moritz Krabbe & Dominik Schuler & Ana Rodriguez-Mateos & Thomas Kraemer & Miriam Margherita Cortese-Krott & Gunter G. C. Kuhnle & Jeremy P. E. Spencer & Hagen Schroeter & Marc W. Merx & Malte Kelm & for the FLAVIOLA Consortium, European Union 7th Framework Program.  AGE (2015) 37: 56 DOI 10.1007/s11357-015-9794-9

  • Conclusion: CF [cocoa flavanol] intake reverses age-related burden of cardiovascular risk in healthy elderly, highlighting the potential of dietary flavanols to maintain cardiovascular health.
  • Funding: …Additional funding was provided by an unrestricted grant by MARS, Inc…MARS, Inc. provided the standardized test drinks used in this investigation. HS is employed by MARS, Inc., a member of the FLAVIOLA research consortium and a company engaged in flavanol research and flavanol-related commercial activities.

3.  Cocoa flavanol intake improves endothelial function and Framingham Risk Score in healthy men and women: a randomised, controlled, double-masked trial: the Flaviola Health Study Roberto Sansone, Ana Rodriguez-Mateos , Jan Heuel, David Falk, Dominik Schuler, Rabea Wagstaff, Gunter G. C. Kuhnle, Jeremy P. E. Spencer, Hagen Schroeter, Marc W. Merx, Malte Kelm and Christian Heiss for the Flaviola Consortium, European Union 7th Framework Program.  British Journal of Nutrition, September 9, 2015. doi:10.1017/S0007114515002822.

  • Conclusion: In healthy individuals, regular CF [cocoa flavanol] intake improved accredited cardiovascular surrogates of cardiovascular risk, demonstrating that dietary flavanols have the potential to maintain cardiovascular health even in low-risk subjects.
  • Funding: Additional funding was provided…through an unrestricted grant by MARS Inc. MARS Inc. also provided the standardised test drinks used in this investigation… H. S. provided test drinks on behalf of Mars Inc… H. S. is employed by MARS Inc., a member of the Flaviola research consortium and a company engaged in flavanol research and flavanol-related commercial activities. [The conflict statement also discloses that MARS employee H.S. shared responsibility for designing the study, writing the paper, and approving the final content].

To publicize this research, Mars, Inc.

  • Gave out samples to participants at the New York Times’ conference.

My interpretation: Mars, Inc. must expect to make some serious money on this supplement—more than enough to pay for all the research and marketing.

As for whether cocoa flavanols really do support healthy blood flow, or whether this is just the standard hyperbole only to be expected from supplement marketers, I’m reserving judgment until I see the results of independently funded studies.

Page 3 of 31112345...Last »