Clinical studies

Esthechoc was developed and validated by Cambridge Chocolate Technologies Ltd. (Cambridge, UK). It is the result of 10 years of intensive research and clinical studies, during which time Dr Petyaev focused on the molecular mechanisms of ageing, cocoa epicatechin polyphenols, carotenoids and free radicals.

The main objective of the studies was to assess the impact of esthechoc (functional chocolate with astaxanthin-phospholipid micelles (astacelles)-embedded epicatechins) on the skin and systemic biomarkers of oxidation and hypoxia.

All esthechoc and control chocolate groups were double blind. The dark chocolate with astaxanthin capsules group was open label. Two control astaxanthin capsule groups were also double blind.

What was the conclusion?

Esthechoc is a breakthrough in skin biomarker management. On the basis of long-term examinations of a total number of 3000 persons, it was noticed that chocolate containing strong health-advantageous substances (astaxanthin and polyphenolic epicatechins) significantly improves skin biomarkers.

Specifically, esthechoc increases oxygen saturation of tissues by 59%*, improves oxygen transport in plasma by 85%*, reduces oxidative damage in mimicked inflammatory conditions by 72%*.

The research proved that both biochemical and metabolic conditions of blood and skin were improved. Better skin nourishment was noticed thanks to microcirculation improvement and higher saturation with oxygen. Skin detoxification processes and protection against free radicals were also intensified. This effect was noticed after 4 weeks of using esthechoc.

* Based on 4-week clinical studies at Lycotec Ltd., Cambridge, UK.

Randomised, controlled, double-blind trials showed an improvement in skin biomarkers.

skin biomarkers
The trial was conducted by Lycotec in Cambridge, UK


Bioavailability is the actual measure of what is detected in your blood after you consume a supplement. It is influenced by many factors such as: the format in which you eat the ingredients, the acidity of your stomach, the absorption within the intestinal tract as well as its sensitivity, processing within the liver and even by the composition of the meal you take accompanying the supplement. As a result, bioavailability of many substances can be as low as 5 to 10 percent of what we eat.

The bioavailability of epicatechins is not high – that’s why to enjoy the effect evidenced in the studies you would have to consume at least 60-70g of dark chocolate per day! This is approximately 3/4 of a full bar of chocolate and 350-400 calories. This is also the main reason why regular dark chocolate is not widely recommended as a source of antioxidants, despite the unique properties of cocoa epicatechins. Astaxanthin, on the other hand, is not very abundant in our everyday diet. It is present in fish and prawns, but in relatively small quantities and, again, we would need to eat big portions every day to make sure we have daily supply.

Thanks to the Astacelle crystal technology 3 weeks of

7,5g esthechoc a day (38kcal)

improves skin biochemical and metabolic
parameters to the same level as:

Epicatechin Polyphenols
from a 100g chocolate bar
(600 kcal) a day

from a 300g serving of
wild Alaskan salmon
(500 kcal)
a day

Regular capsules are not a good option either – we eat food, not capsules, and that’s why some actives work better when delivered in a food format, not powdered and isolated as individual ingredients. We have proven in our studies that a food format gives better bioavailability of various ingredients.

So, how can we harness the power of cocoa epicatechins and astaxanthin in a bioavailable, daily chocolate format that would not be a calorie time bomb?

The answer is new technology and a new production process for chocolate.
No added chemicals, just natural cocoa epicatechins, algae astaxanthin, lecithin and a new proprietary process that allows us to miniaturize this product to the size of 7.5 g per day!

How is this possible? All chocolate production involves a tempering process. This is simply a sequence of liquid chocolate cooling that leads to the formation of the final chocolate texture.


To assess the bioactivity of esthechoc (and find out whether it influences the body’s biological markers) it was necessary to assess the pharmacodynamic profile of the chocolate.

How did we prove the efficacy of esthechoc?

Esthechoc had been thoroughly tested in clinical studies. The protocol for a series of human evaluation trials was created to get to the best formula and proof of effect.

All the trials were done with control groups to prove the product’s superiority: esthechoc was compared to:

  • Regular dark chocolate
  • Astaxanthin capsules
  • Regular dark chocolate taken together with astaxanthin capsules

First we tested pharmacokinetics to show the astaxanthin content of the blood.

We proved that esthechoc is able to result in the highest level of blood astaxanthin, higher than any of the tested astaxanthin capsules. It was 59% higher that the best alternative, a supplement containing an even higher astaxanthin dose!

Then we evaluated pharmacodynamics: various biomarkers were evaluated that represent the metabolic processes related to oxidative stress and level of oxygen deficiency. The first biomarker evaluated the level of oxidative processes by measuring their end-product in the blood, a substance called MDA.

Esthechoc reduced the level of MDA by 72%, which was better than the products
it was compared to.

Finally, we evaluated the influence of esthechoc on skin and tissue oxygen levels. Again, esthechoc results were fair better than any of the products it was compared to!

We were able to prove that by using our proprietary production method of chocolate tempering and astaxanthin incorporation into Astacelles, our product provides clinically proven effects through blood biomarker improvement, better than: regular dark chocolate, astaxanthin capsules and a combination of dark chocolate and astaxanthin capsules.

Together with a luxurious, low-calorie dark chocolate form,
esthechoc is the best daily skin care from within.


Esthechoc contains Astacelle Crystal Defence System: a patent-pending technology that encapsulates dark chocolate cocoa epicatechin polyphenol crystals in astaxanthin micelles (Astacelles) to deliver a unique combination of antioxidants(1)-(3) that are reported to scavenge free radicals.

Astacelle Crystal Defence System

Patent-pending, standardised technology of formation of Astacelles (micelles from Astaxanthin and phospholipids with enclosed Epicatechin Polyphenol crystals) in dark chocolate.

Regular dark chocolate

Astacelles – Epicatechin Polyphenol crystals are
clearly visible in Astaxanthin micelles

  • [1] Y. M. A. Naguib, “Antioxidant activities of astaxanthin and related carotenoids,” J. Agric. Food Chem., vol. 48, pp. 1150–1154, 2000.
  • [2] R. G. Fassett and J. S. Coombes, “Astaxanthin in cardiovascular health and disease,” Molecules, vol. 17. pp. 2030–2048, 2012.
  • [3] N. Shimidzu, M. Goto, and W. Miki, “Carotenoids as singlet oxygen quenchers in marine organisms,” Fish. Sci., vol. 62, pp. 134–137, 1996.

What is unique about esthechoc technology?

All chocolate production involves a tempering process. This is simply a sequence of liquid chocolate cooling that leads to the formation of the final chocolate texture.

Esthechoc tempering is designed to optimize the formation of polyphenol and epicatechin crystals and temper esthechoc with astaxanthin. This leads to the formation of Astacelles – the effect of epicatechin-astaxanthin co-crystalisation that lies behind the improved bioavailability of these nutrients. Esthechoc is produced using the best production protocols developed during extensive research and development, leading to the formation of Astacelle crystals. This is unlike regular dark chocolate, where tempering is not designed to optimize crystalisation of epicatechins. The quality of each production batch is further controlled through a process of evaluation of the crystal formations, which leads to the granting of the Cambridge Chocolate Quality Pass.

Buy esthechoc online