26 July 2005

It's About Time

LONDON (Reuters) --- Mars, the company that made its fortune satisfying chocolate cravings, unveiled plans on Monday to develop medications that use a component of cocoa to help treat diabetes, strokes and vascular disease.

The privately held U.S. company that produces M&Ms and Mars bars said it hoped to make medications based on flavanols --- plant chemicals with health benefits found in cocoa, as well as red wine and green tea.

Mars said it is in talks with large pharmaceutical companies for a licensing or joint venture agreement to reproduce the compounds in cocoa shown to improve blood flow.

"The mounting scientific evidence is extraordinary," said Dr Norm Hollenberg, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, which has collaborated with Mars on cocoa research.

"This is a scientific breakthrough that could well lead to a medical breakthrough."

[ Reuters Health, Jul 25 2005 ]

This is what consumers want to hear --- food manufacturers who are sensitive enough to modify their products to address the current health issues. Imagine eating a chocolate bar in the future that helps lower your hypertension or lessens your diabetic symptoms.

I have always believed that those who engage in manufacturing so-called "sinful food items" may save themselves from going out of business (in the future) by modifying their products to suit current scientific findings. This is a welcome development. I hope other food manufacturers follow this same move.

See a related post for more info on flavonoids.

4 reactions:

BabyPink said...

ay, maganda nga 'to.:) this is a good start.:)

bayi said...

I agree that it is a good start but I can't help seeing the irony of the awkward juxtaposition of the two products. The Mars chocolate bar and one cocoa product (to be developed) that helps diabetics.

Has conscience finally got the better of the company? :)

Dr. Emer said...

Let's hope it really happens. It's mostly wishful thinking at this time.

tinamaldita said...

If my dad were still alive, he'd be jumping up and down. He had diabetes and, unfortunately, a sweet tooth as well.

This is great news! At least companies like Mars are trying to at least explore the possibility of having a greater contribution to society other than stocking a candy store and earning revenue. :)