Flavanols are naturally bioactive compounds found in plant-based foods and beverages like wine, tea, fruits, berries and cocoa beans. Within the group, cocoa beans are unique for their extraordinarily high level of flavanols.
For over 20 years, medical authorities have been investigating the connection between cocoa flavanols and good health. The research clearly indicates that the naturally occurring flavanols in the cocoa bean, processed correctly and taken regularly help maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, which contributes to normal blood flow. *
In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the potential role of dark chocolate in relation to well-being. The emphasis is almost always on “dark,” which is misleading. The health benefits of chocolate are not correlated with the color of the chocolate or the percentage of cocoa, but rather with one of its primary bioactive components, known as flavanols. In short, dark chocolate is not necessarily an indicator of flavanol content.
All cocoa beans are naturally filled with flavanols. It’s how the beans are processed that determines how much of the flavanol content remains and how healthful the chocolate.
The cocoa beans that are used to produce chocolate are naturally rich in flavanols. But the standard manufacturing process used to turn cocoa beans into chocolate destroys most of the flavanols. One particular process called “dutching” adds alkali-potash to the cocoa, which makes the chocolate darker, but it also eliminates flavanols.
The good news is that there are alternative bean processing techniques that allow 50% of the flavanols to be preserved. It’s a complex, time consuming and cost intensive process, but the resulting chocolate retains the flavanols, minerals, enzymes and other healthful nutrients of the cocoa bean that Mother Nature intended.
As we get older, the elasticity of our blood vessels is reduced. One result of this arterial stiffening is a decline in the blood flow to vital organs. Our overall energy supply is reduced, and our heart functions are less efficient. Consequently, it is vital to maintain elasticity and healthy blood flow in the body.
A second result of this loss of elasticity is a reduction in the capacity of our memory to hold information. Its processing speed falls off, as does its ability to form new long-term memories. If we were dealing with a computer we’d add a few gigabits and put in a new processor. That might be possible in the future, but not right now. So we need to find other ways of improving our mental abilities as we age.
Vascular elasticity plays a vital role in the day-to-day functioning of your body, and maintaining it may be simpler than you might think. For some people, medication may be needed to keep the normal blood flow, but in many cases, healthy blood circulation can be maintained just by making the right changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Research has shown that the daily consumption of 200 mg of cocoa flavanols, contained in a ½ – ounce tablet of SWISS ELEMENT 365, not only supports healthy circulation overtime, but has an immediate impact on blood flow, with the peak effect occurring after two hours and lasting 6-8 hours.
FLOW-MEDIATED DIALATION (FMD)
Healthy blood flow depends on blood vessels, and these are fragile. When the inner walls of our cardiovascular system remain smooth, our blood vessels stay relaxed and elastic. The more elastic the blood vessels, the better their capacity to expand, and the wider passages through which our blood flows.
Improved blood flow to your organs, as measured by FMD, can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. 
Ultrasound is a non-invasive and pain free method to measure blood flow. The ultrasound scanner is placed on blood vessels, e.g. in your arm (brachial artery) and gives you the flow-mediated dilation (FMD) as a measure of your blood flow. A typical FMD ranges from 5% to 10%, the higher the better. Even in people with a low risk of coronary heart disease, it has been shown that an improved FMD by 1.42% reduces the cardiovascular risk by 1%.
Not surprisingly, most recent research has shown that a low (impaired) FMD is associated with cardiovascular risks, and can be used as an independent predictor of future stroke or heart attack (the Framingham risk score is often used to predict these events).
The following graph represents the change of vascular elasticity (FMD) with a daily placebo (a sham medication) and daily intake of cocoa flavanols, accordingly. After one week of use, cocoa flavanols, 200mg per day, resulted in a 22.6% improvement in FMD, as compared with a placebo. 
* Elasticity of blood vessels was measured on 20 healthy volunteers. Study was not done with Swiss Element 365. 200 mg is included in a single tablet of Swiss Element 365.
The findings suggest that a daily intake of Swiss Element 365, which contains 200 mg of cocoa flavanols in each 14-gram chocolate square, and taken in the context of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, presents a valuable new opportunity for achieving and maintaining a healthy blood flow.
During the past 20 years, over 500 independent human clinical studies have provided scientific support for the benefits of cocoa flavanols on cardiovascular health. These studies have been published in many of the world’s most respected medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
We find these studies remarkable, compelling and credible. For more information on scientific research related to cocoa flavanols, you can visit PubMed, an online database of scientific studies references, maintained by the United States National Library of Medicine at the National Institute of Health.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.