Episode 45

Everything You Need To Know About Polyphenols with Hagen Schroeter, PhD

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In this episode, I talk to Hagen Schroeter, PhD, the Chief Science Officer at Mars Edge dedicated to translating scientific insights and the outcomes of health and nutrition research into evidence-based applications.

Hagen’s main interests focus on human health and nutrition, personalized nutrition, and data-enabled innovation in nutrition and wellbeing. He leads the scientific investigations into the role of dietary polyphenols, specifically flavanols and procyanidins, in nutrition and healthy aging.

Hagen is leading Mars’ scientific contributions related to the Cocoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study [COSMOS]. COSMOS, enabled by a public-private partnership, is the first, large-scale (21,000 participants) investigator-initiated, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical dietary intervention trial assessing the long-term impact of flavanols and multivitamins on health.

In this episode we talk about a number of areas related to the role of flavanols in cardiovascular and brain health, including the following topics:

  1. Polyphenols are an amazing group of molecules which protect plants against various stressors, and some of the same molecules have also shown health benefits for humans.  Why haven’t they received more attention?
  2. How much of the beneficial effects associated with the ingestion of natural polyphenols in plants and fruits are related to their antioxidant potential (as is commonly believed), and how much is likely related to other effects?
  3. Besides cocoa beans, what other foods have a high content of flavanols?
  4. Are the health benefits of polyphenols dependent on the composition and function of our gut microbiome, and do they vary between individuals based on their individual microbiome?