Chocolate Cravings: Brain Pharma of Theobromine

Regular readers know we love chocolate (and its molecules) for many reasons. What surprised us in the uncertainty of the psychological effects:

Our findings raise questions about the psychoactivity of theobromine in the psychological effects of chocolate. One possibility is that the combined effects of caffeine and theobromine, typically found in chocolate, have interactive effects….Another possibility is that most consumers of chocolate use more caffeine than the subjects we tested, and that the effects of theobromine may be especially evident in regular caffeine users. Little is known about sometimes reported “chocolate cravings”. It is possible that these have a neurobiological basis or, they may be related to appetites for hedonically pleasurable tastes, or other psychological states.

Other interesting points in this article

  • Theobromine dose-dependently increased heart rate
  • Modest effects were detected on measures of attention
  • Genotype dependend blood pressure: “Possession of the G allele of rs4822492 appeared to attenuate or prevent theobromine-induced increases in systolic blood pressure.”

The full article can be reached here:Psychopharmacology of theobromine in healthy volunteers


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