Many people consider chocolate to be one of the most delicious treats.. cocoa beans, from which cocoa is made, and real chocolate, used as natural stimulants, relaxants, aphrodisiac, tonics and antidepressants for thousands of years.
The main active ingredient, which causes these effects is theobromine. This compound was first discovered in the 1840s by biologists., who studied bitter seeds (or pods) cocoa trees in Central and South America. They called the trees “Theobroma”, what does it mean in greek “food of the gods”.
Sources of Theobromine, including dark cocoa and tea, are still considered products, rich in nutrients, which have mood enhancing effects.
What is theobromine?
Theobromine is defined as “bitter, volatile compound, made from cocoa seeds”. Technically it is an alkaloid compound (ie. chemical agent, containing nitrogen atoms), similar to caffeine and having similar effects.
How does theobromine work in humans?? Effects include cardiac stimulation, vasodilation and possibly improved mood.
Is theobromine a stimulant, as caffeine? Although he is not such a strong stimulant, as caffeine, it has some stimulating effects, including heart rate acceleration, possibly increased anxiety and increased urination.
Molar Mass of Theobromine: 180,164 g/mol
How is theobromine obtained??
Although chocolate is the most popular source of theobromine, it is not the only product, contain this connection. Теобромин также содержится в небольших количествах в различных видах чайных листьев, matcha green tea, coffee and green coffee beans, hot chocolate, kola nuts and some other lesser known plants .
Cocoa pods are crushed to make chocolate., collect seeds, and then fermented, leaving a mass of rich brown chocolate. Theobromine is high in dark chocolate., cocoa beans, whereas milk chocolate contains much less of it.
Dark chocolate contains more cocoa solids (plus, usually, less sugar and more antioxidants), so this is the ideal way to consume theobromine.
If you are interested, cocoa butter contains only traces of caffeine and theobromine. Cocoa butter contains less fat, than vegetable oil. Cocoa butter is enriched with antioxidants, some minerals and vitamins.
Theobromine and caffeine: comparison of action on a person
These two connections, known as methylxanthines, naturally found in cocoa seeds and have a similar physiological effect. Theobromine is found in chocolate, cocoa products in large quantities, than caffeine, while coffee contains more caffeine.
In general, the effects of theobromine have been much less studied., than the effects of caffeine.
Together, these compounds are responsible for uplifting and pleasant feelings., associated with chocolate and tea. Studies show, something, and others have a positive effect on our mood, and may also reduce the risk of certain health problems, such as neurodegeneration.
Health Benefits of Theobromine
Theobromine may positively influence cardiovascular function
Depending on the person and his level of emotionality, theobromine, in particular, May act as a myocardial stimulant and vasodilator. In other words, it can help regulate blood pressure and maintain healthy blood flow, dilating blood vessels.
Theobromine may also help maintain healthy lung function., increasing airflow to the lungs and reducing asthma symptoms.
Some studies show, that theobromine's ability to reduce inflammation may be due to its role in blocking phosphodiesterase enzymes and increasing the activity of certain enzymes, such as RKA.
Some consider theobromine an aphrodisiac.
Some chemicals, contained in chocolate, including theobromine and phenylethylamine, gained him a reputation as a natural aphrodisiac. However, there are still discussions about this, because research results are inconsistent.
If theobromine in chocolate really has aphrodisiac properties, this, probably, thanks to its ability to improve your mood, energy levels and circulation.
Theobromine can boost your mood
Some studies show, that consumption of theobromine from chocolate can cause euphoria and have a mild antidepressant effect. However, the health benefits of chocolate, seems, due to the unique blend of chemicals it contains, especially phenethylamine.
Theobromine is considered a nootropic and may improve performance
Studies show, that theobromine affects concentration through a mechanism, similar mechanism of caffeine: blocking adenosine receptors and inhibiting phosphodiesterase. Simply put, it reduces the effects of chemicals on the brain, making you feel sleepy and distracted.
Its mildly stimulating effect is one of the reasons why, that it is becoming a popular nutritional supplement for athletes.
Studies show, that theobromine can improve mental performance, motivation and ability to concentrate and reduce fatigue. However, further research is needed on this issue.. One study found evidence that, that taking cocoa supplements increased participants' performance on mental tasks and made them less tired, but not clear, have other cocoa compounds affected this (including bioflavonoid antioxidants).
Theobromine is a natural diuretic
Theobromine is a natural diuretic, which can increase the amount of urine, produced by the kidneys. It may help reduce water retention and treat swelling (fluid retention).
Does Theobromine Lead to Weight Loss?? This has not been proven in reliable studies., but you can take into account, that it can increase energy levels and reduce gas and inflammation. It may help control your appetite., support metabolism and reduce fatigue.
Risk, side effects and interactions of theobromine
Studies show, that theobromine is safe for humans and usually has fewer side effects, than caffeine.
Theobromine keeps you awake or contributes to sleep disorders, such as insomnia? It is unlikely to be used exclusively from food sources., unlike dietary supplements, although it can.
But some people claim, that taking theobromine promotes their sleep and allows them to rest better.
Possible Side Effects of Theobromine, that may occur with the use of large doses of this substance, include nausea, anorexia, Sweating, tremor, digestive problems and headaches (similar side effects of caffeine).
Theobromine sensitivity varies by person. Some people are more tolerant of the effects of stimulants, while others can only handle minor amounts.
For most people, chocolate consumption, cocoa and tea in moderation does not lead to a negative reaction, but dietary supplements can still cause an adverse reaction.
For those, who wants to treat themselves to something with chocolate flavor, carob chips are an alternative to real chocolate, because carob does not contain caffeine or theobromine and is therefore not a stimulant.
Why theobromine in chocolate is bad for dogs?
While theobromine and caffeine can be tolerated by most people, both are not safe for dogs and cats, especially if they are consumed in large quantities, and the dog/cat is small.
Pets metabolize these chemicals differently, how people, and this can lead to their poisoning, from eating chocolate.
According to the North Windham Hospital of Veterinary Medicine:
The more cocoa in the product, the more theobromine. This makes the food dangerous for pets.. Semi-sweet and dark chocolate can also be dangerous., milk chocolate, and then pastries or cookies flavored with chocolate.
If you are not sure about, how much chocolate, perhaps, ate your pet, best to contact your veterinarian immediately, especially if he has these symptoms, like vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity and tremor.
How and in what doses is it safe to take theobromine
Why Use Theobromine in Dietary Supplementation?? Theobromine supplements are used as nootropics or to improve brain and circulatory health, as well as to maintain normal breathing and even improve sleep.
Theobromine is usually sold in powder form., bitter-tasting, if not combined with other ingredients. Theobromine powder or capsule can be taken alone or used in food and drink.
Theobromine Dosage Recommendations Vary Depending on the Age of the Person, his sensitivity to that substance. Theobromine appears to be safe at doses ranging from 300 to 600 mg per day.
With prolonged use or at higher doses from 1000 to 1500 mg, probably, there will be side effects. Only 1000 mg of theobromine per day may increase heart rate and exacerbate such symptoms, as alarm.