What are Cocoa Flavanols?

What are Cocoa Flavanols?

What is high flavanol cocoa? Well, we have a short answer: also known as flavan-3-ols, flavanols are compounds found naturally in plants and fruits, such as tea, cocoa, berries, and apples. That is it. If you want to know more, continue reading this article. 

In the specific case of cocoa flavanols, they include specific compounds called epicatechin and catechin, as well as chains of flavanols, called “procyanidins”. During the last 20 years, various research has been done on cocoa flavanols, demonstrating that, when they are found in a rich and balanced way in people's diet, they have a beneficial effect on health.

What is high flavanol cocoa?

If you've asked yourself "what is high flavanol cocoa?" Here we have the answer. If you've heard of cocoa flavanols, high flavanol cocoa contains at least 4% naturally preserved cocoa flavanols. Thanks to this content, you can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

These plant-based antioxidants improve the circulation of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, according to some studies. However, they are not naturally found in the concentration necessary to obtain benefits such as improved brain function, heart health, and skin well-being.

So where can you find flavanols in the necessary concentration? In supplements such as cocoa flavanols. This product, in capsule presentation, has the necessary amount to benefit your body.

Cocoa flavanols compounds

Flavanols belong to a subclass of a broader group of plant compounds known as flavonoids. The main monomeric flavanol is (−)-epicatechin (up to 35% polyphenol), followed by (+)-catechin and procyanidin B2 (epicatechin-(4β-8)-epicatechin).

What are flavonoids?

Flavonoids are a specific subgroup within the polyphenol family, primarily found in fruits and vegetables.  They are further classified into subclasses based on variations in their chemical structures.  Common subclasses that we encounter in our diet include flavanols, flavonols, flavones, flavanones, anthocyanidins, isoflavones, and proanthocyanidins.  

For example, isoflavones are found in soy, anthocyanins give berries their rich colors, flavonoids are present in onions and broccoli, while parsley boasts flavones and citrus fruits are a source of flavanones.

What are flavanols?

They are a subclass of flavonoids and you can find them in tea, apples, pears, cocoa beans, and various berries. It is important to know that there are different types, which are distinguished from each other by their chemical structure and the formula that composes them, but we can mention: catechin, epicatechin, theaflavins and thearubins.

What is (–)-epicatechin?

If there is a beneficial effect of dietary flavanols on health, it is thanks to flavanol (–)-epicatechin. The main molecule present in cocoa flavanols is (–)-epicatechin. However, (–)-epicatechin is often destroyed or converted to (–)-catechin. This occurs during cocoa processing.

In addition to being more abundant, (–)-epicatechin reaches the highest concentration in the body, when compared to other stereoisomers. Its effect is also more powerful.

Cocoa flavanols and chocolate

As already mentioned, flavanols are found in a variety of foods. In the specific case of cocoa flavanols, they are the specific mixture of flavanols that occur naturally in cocoa beans. However, they are highly vulnerable to destruction from the moment they are harvested and, above all, when they are processed to make various products, including chocolate. 

So while it's true that all cocoa beans start out rich in cocoa flavanols, most finished cocoa products are not.

There are different types of chocolate, which have a different level of cocoa, depending on their composition. For example, milk chocolate has a lower cocoa content and baking chocolate is made from ground cocoa beans. In the first case, the content of cocoa flavanols will be greatly reduced, while, in chocolate made with ground beans, the content will be high. However, the cocoa content of a chocolate is not a reliable indicator of flavanol content.

If you want a product with the appropriate cocoa flavanols content, it is better to get a dietary supplement with high concentration of flavanols such as our Cocoa Flavanols 1200MG. Our formula is 12X stronger than regular cocoa, so you can guess it gets the job done, in a healthier way.

All the best,


Back to blog