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Brews Like Coffee | Benefits Of Cacao

Brews Like Coffee | Tastes Like Heaven

Roasted, ground, and brewed just like coffee, Crio Bru Brewed Cacao has the amazing flavor and aroma of pure dark chocolate. Brew our 100% pure ground cacao in your French press or coffee maker, and your kitchen will have the aroma of pure dark chocolate heaven in no time.

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Explore the many ways to fall in love with Crio Bru Brewed Cacao. Enjoy it hot or iced. Drink it “black” with nothing added or experiment with your favorite creamer and sweetener. Feeling adventurous? Try a dash of cinnamon or even mix it with your favorite ground coffee to make an incredible mocha. No matter how you enjoy Crio Bru Brewed Cacao, the experience is a little magical.

Superfood Packed With Nutrients

Cacao is packed with nutrients like antioxidants to boost your immune system and magnesium to support bone, brain, and heart health. While low in carbs and calories, Cacao also acts as a natural appetite suppressant. Best of all, cacao is loaded with natural mood enhancers that can help you feel great, increase focus, reduce stress, and sleep better.

Say hello to one of nature's most amazing superfoods. Just a few of its amazing benefits include:

Boosts Your Immune System

Cacao contains one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of any food in the world to boost your immune system.

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Did we hear you sniffle? Cacao contains one of the highest concentrations of polyphenol antioxidants and in particular flavonoids of any food in the world. Polyphenol antioxidants and flavonoids boost your immune system and prevent you from getting a whole host of sicknesses. By weight cacao has more polyphenol antioxidants than red wine, blueberries, açai, pomegranates, and goji berries combined! Cacao is also known to be a wonderful home remedy for the common cough by opening up your airways and reducing inflammation in your lungs

Supports Your Bone, Brain, and Heart Health

Cacao is one of the best natural plant sources on earth of magnesium which supports heart, brain, and bone health.

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Ditch the “milk for you bones” routine. Cacao is one of the best natural plant sources of magnesium in the world. Magnesium helps supports the heart, aids digestion, balances brain chemistry, and builds strong bones. Many Americans are chronically magnesium deficient, and cacao is an amazing source for this nutrient. Research also suggests that Cacao can play a wonderful role in heart health from lowering blood pressure to preventing strokes and other cardiovascular diseases. Just when you thought your heart couldn’t love pure dark chocolate even more.

Loaded with Natural Mood Enhancers to Feel Great, Increase Focus, Reduce Stress, and Sleep Better

Cacao is the only superfood that contains all the mood enhancers of anandamide, serotonin, PEA, and tryptophan that you help you feel great, increase focus, reduce stress, and sleep better.

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Take a lap around this pool of mood enhancers. Cacao contains the natural chemical phenylethylamine or PEA (aka “love drug”). This is the same chemical our body produces when we fall in love which boosts mood and increases focus and alertness. Forget love. Fall in pure dark chocolate.

Cacao also contains many other mood enhancing endorphins. One of these is anandamide (aka “bliss chemical”) which is also produced by our body after exercise which makes us feel great and reduce stress. Would it surprise you that it has been found in only one plant on earth? Cacao.

Cacao also contains serotonin, a “feel-good” brain chemical and a primary neurotransmitter in the body that acts as a natural anti-depressant and plays a major role in mood and emotional health. A whole new meaning to pure dark chocolate therapy.

Cacao also contains Tryptophan, a natural anti-depressant amino acid, that transforms into stress-protective neurotransmitters that can enhance relaxation and promote better sleep. Taking care of yourself now never tasted so good.

Boosts Your Immune System

Cacao contains one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of any food in the world to boost your immune system.

Did we hear you sniffle? Cacao contains one of the highest concentrations of polyphenol antioxidants and in particular flavonoids of any food in the world. Polyphenol antioxidants and flavonoids boost your immune system and prevent you from getting a whole host of sicknesses. By weight cacao has more polyphenol antioxidants than red wine, blueberries, açai, pomegranates, and goji berries combined! Cacao is also known to be a wonderful home remedy for the common cough by opening up your airways and reducing inflammation in your lungs. [1]

Supports Your Bone, Brain, and Heart Health

Cacao is one of the best natural plant sources on earth of magnesium which supports heart, brain, and bone health.

Ditch the “milk for you bones” routine. Cacao is one of the best natural plant sources of magnesium in the world. Magnesium helps supports the heart, aids digestion, balances brain chemistry, and builds strong bones. Many Americans are chronically magnesium deficient, and cacao is an amazing source for this nutrient. Research also suggests that Cacao can play a wonderful role in heart health from lowering blood pressure to preventing strokes and other cardiovascular diseases. Just when you thought your heart couldn’t love pure dark chocolate even more. [2]

Loaded with Natural Mood Enhancers to Feel Great, Increase Focus, Reduce Stress, and Sleep Better

Cacao is the only superfood that contains all the mood enhancers of anandamide, serotonin, PEA, and tryptophan that you help you feel great, increase focus, reduce stress, and sleep better.

Take a lap around this pool of mood enhancers. Cacao contains the natural chemical phenylethylamine or PEA (aka “love drug”). This is the same chemical our body produces when we fall in love which boosts mood and increases focus and alertness. Forget love. Fall in pure dark chocolate.

Cacao also contains many other mood enhancing endorphins. One of these is anandamide (aka “bliss chemical”) which is also produced by our body after exercise which makes us feel great and reduce stress. Would it surprise you that it has been found in only one plant on earth? Cacao.

Cacao also contains serotonin, a “feel-good” brain chemical and a primary neurotransmitter in the body that acts as a natural anti-depressant and plays a major role in mood and emotional health. A whole new meaning to pure dark chocolate therapy.

Cacao also contains Tryptophan, a natural anti-depressant amino acid, that transforms into stress-protective neurotransmitters that can enhance relaxation and promote better sleep. Taking care of yourself now never tasted so good. [3]

Curbs Appetite and Promotes Weight Loss

While low in carbs, calories, and fat, cacao also acts as a natural appetite suppressant than can curb your appetite and promote weight loss.

Wait, a kind of chocolate that helps you lose weight? While low in carbs, calories, and fat, cacao acts as a natural appetite suppressant than can curb your appetite and promote weight loss. Other studies also show that Cacao stimulates serotonin production in the brain which suppresses the appetite and can result in consuming less calories. With the combination of both polyphenol antioxidants and serotonin production in the brain, brewed cacao acts as an appetite suppressant superfood. [4]

Lower Your Acidity Intake

Brewed cacao is near alkaline pH levels and is significantly less acidic than coffee.

Worried about that 5th cup? Brewed cacao is significantly less acidic (near pH Neutral 6.4 - 6.8) than coffee and can therefore be much easier on your digestive system. [5]

Honest Energy

Brewed cacao is 99.9% caffeine free, but contains theobromine, a naturally occurring stimulant found in cacao that can be longer lasting, milder, and more pleasant than caffeine.

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Using coffee for your anger management? Theobromine gives you longer lasting, milder energy without the jitters and crash that can come from caffeine. How does this work? Theobromine acts as a vasodilator which expands your blood vessels to increase blood flow. Contrastingly, caffeine is a vasoconstrictor which constricts your blood vessels causing the heart to work harder to increase blood flow . Come to the dark side. We’ve got chocolate.

You’ll also love that brewed cacao is 99.9% caffeine free and its boost of natural energy feels akin to a goodnight’s sleep. We could all use some more of that! [6]

100% Pure Ground Cacao

Keto, Paleo, Whole 30, Non-GMO, and Kosher

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Crio Bru Brewed Cacao’s core product line is made from 100% pure ground cacao beans. Nothing more, nothing less. Unlike most processed cocoa products, Crio Bru Brewed Cacao uses the full cacao bean to retain more of its important nutrients.

  • Keto, Paleo, Whole 30, Non-GMO, Kosher, Sugar-free, Dairy-free, & Gluten-free.
  • Non-GMO and Organic (Ecuador, Peppermint & Pumpkin Spice)
  • Healthy and safe for kids [7]

References

[1] Cacao is packed with nutrients like antioxidants to boost your immune system and magnesium to support bone, brain, and heart health.

Cocoa contains more phenolic antioxidants than most foods. Flavonoids, including catechin, epicatechin, and procyanidins predominate in antioxidant activity. The tricyclic structure of the flavonoids determines antioxidant effects that scavenge reactive oxygen species, chelate Fe2+ and Cu+, inhibit enzymes, and upregulate antioxidant defenses.
David L. Katz, Kim Doughty, and Ather Ali. Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2011 Nov 15; 15(10): 2779–2811. doi: 10.1089/ars.2010.3697. PMCID: PMC4696435. PMID: 21470061

Results suggest that epicatechin oligomers found in cocoa powder and chocolate may be a potent dietary source for defense against peroxynitrite

Arteel GE, Sies H. Protection against peroxynitrite by cocoa polyphenol oligomers. FEBS Lett. 1999 Nov 26;462(1-2):167-70. PubMed PMID: 10580113.

Cocoa influences the immune system, in particular the inflammatory innate response and the systemic and intestinal adaptive immune response

Pérez-Cano FJ, Massot-Cladera M, Franch A, Castellote C, Castell M. The effects of cocoa on the immune system. Front Pharmacol. 2013 Jun 4;4:71. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2013.00071. eCollection 2013. PubMed PMID: 23759861; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3671179.

Recent findings suggest a regulatory effect of cocoa on the immune cells implicated in innate and acquired immunity. Cocoa exerts regulatory activity on the secretion of inflammatory mediators from macrophages and other leucocytes in vitro. In addition, emerging data from in vivo studies support an immunomodulating effect.

Ramiro-Puig E, Castell M. Cocoa: antioxidant and immunomodulator. Br J Nutr. 2009 Apr;101(7):931-40. doi: 10.1017/S0007114508169896. Epub 2009 Jan 6. Review. PubMed PMID: 19126261

Consumption of the probiotic bacteria LactobacillusrhamnosusLGG and flavanol-rich cocoa have purported immune modulating effects.

Jang S, Lakshman S, Beshah E, Xie Y, Molokin A, Vinyard BT, Urban JF, Davis CD, Solano-Aguilar GI. Flavanol-Rich Cocoa Powder Interacts with Lactobacillus rhamnossus LGG to Alter the Antibody Response to Infection with the Parasitic Nematode Ascaris suum. Nutrients. 2017 Oct 12;9(10). pii: E1113. doi: 10.3390/nu9101113. PubMed PMID: 29023393; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5691729.

Polyphenols in chocolate, which have antioxidant activity, modulate immune functions in humans in vitro.

Sanbongi C, Suzuki N, Sakane T. Cell Immunol. 1997 May 1;177(2):129-36. PubMed PMID: 9178639.

The beneficial effects of cocoa polyphenols on human health, especially with regard to cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, metabolic disorders, and cancer prevention Cocoa polyphenols and their potential benefits for human health

Andújar I, Recio MC, Giner RM, Ríos JL. Cocoa polyphenols and their potential benefits for human health. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2012;2012:906252. doi: 10.1155/2012/906252. Epub 2012 Oct 24. Review. PubMed PMID: 23150750; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3488419

Boosts Your Immune System
Cacao contains one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of any food in the world to boost your immune system.

In the present study, dark chocolate promotes satiety, lowers the desire to eat something sweet, and suppresses energy intake compared with milk chocolate.

L B Sørensen, and A Astrup. Eating dark and milk chocolate: a randomized crossover study of effects on appetite and energy intake. Nutr Diabetes. 2011 Dec; 1(12): e21. Published online 2011 Dec 5. doi: 10.1038/nutd.2011.17
PMCID: PMC3302125 PMID: 23455041


Chocolate eating and smelling both induced a similar appetite suppression with a disappearance of correlations between VAS scores and insulin, GLP-1 and CCK levels.

Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 Apr;37(4):584-92. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2012.85. Epub 2012 May 29. Cocoa polyphenols suppress adipogenesis in vitro and obesity in vivo by targeting insulin receptor. Min SY, Yang H, Seo SG, Shin SH, Chung MY, Kim J, Lee SJ, Lee HJ, Lee KW.

Among the myriad of health promoting effects suspected for antioxidants, anti-inflammatory actions seem to be promising. In fact, flavonols inhibit lipid peroxidation and affect production of lipid or lipid-derived molecules regulating the immune response and, recently, dietary cacao has been shown to ameliorate obesity-related inflammation in high fat-fed mice [2]. These molecules also seem to be key players in the increase of beneficial gut microbes (e.g., Lactobacilli) and the decrease of less beneficial ones (e.g., Clostridia) that follow cacao intake [3,4]. Hayek [5] has recently revisited data showing that cacao and/or chocolate modifies intestinal flora in the same way that prebiotics and probiotics do. As the functional interactions between gut microbiota and host metabolism are indeed shown in several studies (see for instance [6]), and result in health maintenance, some of the benefits of cacao may be due to this indirect mechanism.
Rafael Franco, Ainhoa Oñatibia-Astibia, and Eva Martínez-Pinilla. Health Benefits of Methylxanthines in Cacao and Chocolate. Nutrients. 2013 Oct; 5(10): 4159–4173. Published online 2013 Oct 18. doi: 10.3390/nu5104159

Cocoa decreases chance of metabolic syndrome and risk of cardiovascular diseases by as much as 37%

Adriana Buitrago-Lopez, Jean Sanderson, Laura Johnson, Samantha Warnakula, Angelga Wood, Emmanuele Di Angelantonio, Oscar Franco. Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2011;343:d4488

Massolt ET, van Haard PM, Rehfeld JF, Posthuma EF, van der Veer E, Schweitzer DH. Appetite suppression through smelling of dark chocolate correlates with changes in ghrelin in young women. Regul Pept. 2010 Apr 9;161(1-3):81-6. doi: 10.1016/j.regpep.2010.01.005. Epub 2010 Jan 25. PubMed PMID: 20102728.

This study is unique in providing functional evidence that activation of bitter taste receptors stimulates ghrelin secretion. Modulation of endogenous ghrelin levels by tastants may provide novel therapeutic applications for the treatment of weight -and gastrointestinal motility disorders.

Janssen S, Laermans J, Verhulst PJ, Thijs T, Tack J, Depoortere I. Bitter taste receptors and α-gustducin regulate the secretion of ghrelin with functional effects on food intake and gastric emptying. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Feb
1;108(5):2094-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1011508108. Epub 2011 Jan 18. PubMed PMID: 21245306; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3033292.

Cocoa decreases insulin resistance, increases insulin sensitivity and improves B Cell function

Grassi D, Necozione S, Lippi C, Croce G, Valeri L, Pasqualetti P, Desideri G, Blumberg JB, Ferri C. Cocoa reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance and improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation in hypertensives. Hypertension. 2005;46:398–405.

Heiss C, Kleinbongard P, Dejam A, Perre S, Schroeter H, Sies H, Kelm M. Acute consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa and the reversal of endothelial dysfunction in smokers. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005;46:1276 –1283.

Cocoa Dose Dependently Prevents Hyperglycemia in Obese Diabetic Mice

Tomaru M, Takano H, Osakabe N, Yasuda A, Inoue K, Yanagisawa R, Ohwatari T, Uematsu H. Dietary supplementation with cacao liquor proanthocyanidins prevents elevation of blood glucose levels in diabetic obese mice. Nutrition. 2007;23:351–355.


Did we hear you sniffle? Cacao contains one of the highest concentrations of polyphenol antioxidants and in particular flavonoids of any food in the world.

Cacao increases cerebral and peripheral blood flow resulting in acute improvements in mood and cognitive performance
Scholey, A. B., French, S. J., Morris, P. J., Kennedy, D. O., Milne, A. L., & Haskell, C. F. (2010). Consumption of cocoa flavanols results in acute improvements in mood and cognitive performance during sustained mental effort. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 24, 1505–1514.
Theobromine helps to improve mood via energetic arousal and improves reaction time.
Smit. Hendrik J., Gaffan E., Rogers P. Methylxanthines are the psycho-pharmacologically active constituents of chocolate. Psychopharmacology (2004). 176; 412-419.
Cocoa powder and chocolate contain numerous substances among which there is a quite large percentage of antioxidant molecules, mainly flavonoids, most abundantly found in the form of epicatechin. These substances display several beneficial actions on the brain. They enter the brain and induce widespread stimulation of brain perfusion.
Astrid Nehlig. The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. Published online 2013 Feb 5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04378.x
PEA found in cacao Helps to Modulate Mood & Ameliorate Depression
Bruinsma K, Taren DL. J Am Diet Assoc. Chocolate: food or drug? 1999 Oct;99(10):1249-56.
Sabelli HC, Javaid JI. Phenylethylamine modulation of affect: therapeutic and diagnostic implications. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1995 Winter;7(1):6-14.
Anti-inflammatory properties of cacao, fruits of Theobroma cacao L. (Sterculiaceae), are well documented, and therapeutic applications are described for gastrointestinal, nervous, and cardiovascular abnormalities. Most, if not all of these disease conditions involve inflammation or immune activation processes.
Kathrin Becker, Simon Geisler, Florian Ueberall, Dietmar Fuchs, and Johanna M. Gostner. Immunomodulatory properties of cacao extracts – potential consequences for medical applications. Front Pharmacol. 2013; 4: 154. Published online 2013 Dec 12. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2013.00154. PMCID: PMC3859901 PMID: 24376420


Polyphenol antioxidants and flavonoids boost your immune system and prevent you from getting a whole host of sicknesses.

Further, cocoa consumption may stimulate changes in redox-sensitive signaling pathways involved in gene expression and the immune response. Cocoa can protect nerves from injury and inflammation, protect the skin from oxidative damage from UV radiation in topical preparations, and have beneficial effects on satiety, cognitive function, and mood.
David L. Katz, Kim Doughty, and Ather Ali. Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2011 Nov 15; 15(10): 2779–2811. doi: 10.1089/ars.2010.3697. PMCID: PMC4696435. PMID: 21470061


By weight cacao has more polyphenol antioxidants than red wine, blueberries, açai, pomegranates, and goji berries combined! Cacao is also known to be a wonderful home remedy for the common cough by opening up your airways and reducing inflammation in your lungs.
Cacao increases cerebral and peripheral blood flow resulting in acute improvements in mood and cognitive performance
Scholey, A. B., French, S. J., Morris, P. J., Kennedy, D. O., Milne, A. L., & Haskell, C. F. (2010). Consumption of cocoa flavanols results in acute improvements in mood and cognitive performance during sustained mental effort. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 24, 1505–1514.
Theobromine helps to improve mood via energetic arousal and improves reaction time.
Smit. Hendrik J., Gaffan E., Rogers P. Methylxanthines are the psycho-pharmacologically active constituents of chocolate. Psychopharmacology (2004). 176; 412-
Flavanol-rich chocolate acutely improves arterial function and working memory performance counteracting the effects of sleep deprivation in healthy individuals.

Grassi D, Socci V, Tempesta D, Ferri C, De Gennaro L, Desideri G, Ferrara M. Flavanol-rich chocolate acutely improves arterial function and working memory performance counteracting the effects of sleep deprivation in healthy
individuals. J Hypertens. 2016 Jul;34(7):1298-308. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000000926. PubMed PMID: 27088635.

PEA found in cacao Helps to Modulate Mood & Ameliorate Depression
Bruinsma K, Taren DL. J Am Diet Assoc. Chocolate: food or drug? 1999 Oct;99(10):1249-56.
Sabelli HC, Javaid JI. Phenylethylamine modulation of affect: therapeutic and diagnostic implications. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1995 Winter;7(1):6-14.

Cocoa powder and chocolate contain numerous substances among which there is a quite large percentage of antioxidant molecules, mainly flavonoids, most abundantly found in the form of epicatechin. These substances display several beneficial actions on the brain. They enter the brain and induce widespread stimulation of brain perfusion.
Astrid Nehlig. The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. Published online 2013 Feb 5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04378.

Cacao Boosts Serotonin and Dopamine Levels in Brain and Improve NO Availability by protecting vascular endothelium function http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/04/27/chocolate-and-mood-disorders/
Heiss, C., Dejam, A., Kleinbongard, P., Schewe, T., Sies, H., & Kelm, M. (2003). Vascular effects of cocoa rich in flavan-3-ols. Research Letters, 290, 1030–1031.
Chocolate Consumption, Cognitive Function, and Nobel Laureates. The New England Journal of Medicine. http://paulseabright.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/NEJM-%E2%80%94.pdf

[2] Supports Your Bone, Brain, and Heart Health.

Cacao is one of the best natural plant sources on earth of magnesium which supports heart, brain, and bone health.

Cocoa also contains some other compounds with potential biological activity. These are biogenic amines such as serotonin, tryptophan, phenylethylamine, tyrosine, tryptamine and tyramine.
Astrid Nehlig. The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. Published online 2013 Feb 5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04378.x
The weight of evidence indicates that L-tryptophan in doses of 1 g or more produces an increase in rated subjective sleepiness and a decrease in sleep latency (time to sleep).

Schneider-Helmert D, Spinweber CL. Evaluation of L-tryptophan for treatment of insomnia: a review. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1986;89(1):1-7. PubMed PMID: 3090582.

Sleep laboratory and outpatient studies of the hypnotic efficacy of the amino acid L-tryptophan are reviewed, with particular emphasis on evaluation of therapeutic effectiveness in the treatment of insomnia. In younger situational insomniacs, whose sleep problem consists solely of longer than usual sleep latencies, L-tryptophan is effective in reducing sleep onset time on the first night of administration in doses ranging from 1 to 15 g.

Hartmann E. Effects of L-tryptophan on sleepiness and on sleep. J Psychiatr Res. 1982-1983;17(2):107-13.

This study suggests that HCL/PR chocolate may improve symptoms in subjects with chronic fatigue syndrome
Thozhukat Sathyapalan, Stephen Beckett, Alan S Rigby, Duane D Mellor, and Stephen L Atkin. High cocoa polyphenol rich chocolate may reduce the burden of the symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome. Nutr J. 2010; 9: 55. Published online 2010 Nov 22. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-9-55

Cocoa contains more phenolic antioxidants than most foods. Flavonoids, including catechin, epicatechin, and procyanidins predominate in antioxidant activity. The tricyclic structure of the flavonoids determines antioxidant effects that scavenge reactive oxygen species, chelate Fe2+ and Cu+, inhibit enzymes, and upregulate antioxidant defenses.
David L. Katz, Kim Doughty, and Ather Ali. Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2011 Nov 15; 15(10): 2779–2811. doi: 10.1089/ars.2010.3697. PMCID: PMC4696435. PMID: 21470061

Results suggest that epicatechin oligomers found in cocoa powder and chocolate may be a potent dietary source for defense against peroxynitrite

Arteel GE, Sies H. Protection against peroxynitrite by cocoa polyphenol oligomers. FEBS Lett. 1999 Nov 26;462(1-2):167-70. PubMed PMID: 10580113.

Cocoa influences the immune system, in particular the inflammatory innate response and the systemic and intestinal adaptive immune response

Pérez-Cano FJ, Massot-Cladera M, Franch A, Castellote C, Castell M. The effects of cocoa on the immune system. Front Pharmacol. 2013 Jun 4;4:71. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2013.00071. eCollection 2013. PubMed PMID: 23759861; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3671179.

Recent findings suggest a regulatory effect of cocoa on the immune cells implicated in innate and acquired immunity. Cocoa exerts regulatory activity on the secretion of inflammatory mediators from macrophages and other leucocytes in vitro. In addition, emerging data from in vivo studies support an immunomodulating effect.

Ramiro-Puig E, Castell M. Cocoa: antioxidant and immunomodulator. Br J Nutr. 2009 Apr;101(7):931-40. doi: 10.1017/S0007114508169896. Epub 2009 Jan 6. Review. PubMed PMID: 19126261

Consumption of the probiotic bacteria LactobacillusrhamnosusLGG and flavanol-rich cocoa have purported immune modulating effects.

Jang S, Lakshman S, Beshah E, Xie Y, Molokin A, Vinyard BT, Urban JF, Davis CD, Solano-Aguilar GI. Flavanol-Rich Cocoa Powder Interacts with Lactobacillus rhamnossus LGG to Alter the Antibody Response to Infection with the Parasitic Nematode Ascaris suum. Nutrients. 2017 Oct 12;9(10). pii: E1113. doi: 10.3390/nu9101113. PubMed PMID: 29023393; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5691729.

Polyphenols in chocolate, which have antioxidant activity, modulate immune functions in humans in vitro.

Sanbongi C, Suzuki N, Sakane T. Cell Immunol. 1997 May 1;177(2):129-36. PubMed PMID: 9178639.

The beneficial effects of cocoa polyphenols on human health, especially with regard to cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, metabolic disorders, and cancer prevention Cocoa polyphenols and their potential benefits for human health

Andújar I, Recio MC, Giner RM, Ríos JL. Cocoa polyphenols and their potential benefits for human health. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2012;2012:906252. doi: 10.1155/2012/906252. Epub 2012 Oct 24. Review. PubMed PMID: 23150750; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3488419


J Pérez-Jiménez, V Neveu, F Vos & A Scalbert . Identification of the 100 richest dietary sources of polyphenols: an application of the Phenol-Explorer database European Journal of Clinical Nutrition volume 64, pages S112–S120 (2010)

Ditch the “milk for you bones” routine. Cacao is one of the best natural plant sources of magnesium in the world. Magnesium helps supports the heart, aids digestion, balances brain chemistry, and builds strong bones.

Cocoa contains more phenolic antioxidants than most foods. Flavonoids, including catechin, epicatechin, and procyanidins predominate in antioxidant activity. The tricyclic structure of the flavonoids determines antioxidant effects that scavenge reactive oxygen species, chelate Fe2+ and Cu+, inhibit enzymes, and upregulate antioxidant defenses.
David L. Katz, Kim Doughty, and Ather Ali. Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2011 Nov 15; 15(10): 2779–2811. doi: 10.1089/ars.2010.3697. PMCID: PMC4696435. PMID: 21470061
Results suggest that epicatechin oligomers found in cocoa powder and chocolate may be a potent dietary source for defense against peroxynitrite

Arteel GE, Sies H. Protection against peroxynitrite by cocoa polyphenol oligomers. FEBS Lett. 1999 Nov 26;462(1-2):167-70. PubMed PMID: 10580113.

Cocoa influences the immune system, in particular the inflammatory innate response and the systemic and intestinal adaptive immune response

Pérez-Cano FJ, Massot-Cladera M, Franch A, Castellote C, Castell M. The effects of cocoa on the immune system. Front Pharmacol. 2013 Jun 4;4:71. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2013.00071. eCollection 2013. PubMed PMID: 23759861; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3671179.

Recent findings suggest a regulatory effect of cocoa on the immune cells implicated in innate and acquired immunity. Cocoa exerts regulatory activity on the secretion of inflammatory mediators from macrophages and other leucocytes in vitro. In addition, emerging data from in vivo studies support an immunomodulating effect.

Ramiro-Puig E, Castell M. Cocoa: antioxidant and immunomodulator. Br J Nutr. 2009 Apr;101(7):931-40. doi: 10.1017/S0007114508169896. Epub 2009 Jan 6. Review. PubMed PMID: 19126261

Consumption of the probiotic bacteria LactobacillusrhamnosusLGG and flavanol-rich cocoa have purported immune modulating effects.

Jang S, Lakshman S, Beshah E, Xie Y, Molokin A, Vinyard BT, Urban JF, Davis CD, Solano-Aguilar GI. Flavanol-Rich Cocoa Powder Interacts with Lactobacillus rhamnossus LGG to Alter the Antibody Response to Infection with the Parasitic Nematode Ascaris suum. Nutrients. 2017 Oct 12;9(10). pii: E1113. doi: 10.3390/nu9101113. PubMed PMID: 29023393; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5691729.

Polyphenols in chocolate, which have antioxidant activity, modulate immune functions in humans in vitro.

Sanbongi C, Suzuki N, Sakane T. Cell Immunol. 1997 May 1;177(2):129-36. PubMed PMID: 9178639.

The beneficial effects of cocoa polyphenols on human health, especially with regard to cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, metabolic disorders, and cancer prevention Cocoa polyphenols and their potential benefits for human health

Andújar I, Recio MC, Giner RM, Ríos JL. Cocoa polyphenols and their potential benefits for human health. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2012;2012:906252. doi: 10.1155/2012/906252. Epub 2012 Oct 24. Review. PubMed PMID: 23150750; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3488419

See Also:
Keen CL, Holt RR, Oteiza PI, Fraga CG, Schmitz HH. Cocoa antioxidants and cardiovascular health. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;81: 298S–303S.

Chemopreventive Effects of Cocoa Polyphenols on Chronic Disease.
http://ebm.rsmjournals.com/content/226/10/891.full

Epicatechin mediates beneficial effects of flavanol-rich cocoa on vascular function in humans.
http://www.pnas.org/content/103/4/1024.full

Flavonoid-Rich Dark Chocolate Improves Endothelial Function and Increases Plasma Epicatechin Concentrations in Healthy Adults. FASEB J 17:A111 2003 0 [Abstract]. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15190043

Among the myriad of health promoting effects suspected for antioxidants, anti-inflammatory actions seem to be promising. In fact, flavonols inhibit lipid peroxidation and affect production of lipid or lipid-derived molecules regulating the immune response and, recently, dietary cacao has been shown to ameliorate obesity-related inflammation in high fat-fed mice [2]. These molecules also seem to be key players in the increase of beneficial gut microbes (e.g., Lactobacilli) and the decrease of less beneficial ones (e.g., Clostridia) that follow cacao intake [3,4]. Hayek [5] has recently revisited data showing that cacao and/or chocolate modifies intestinal flora in the same way that prebiotics and probiotics do. As the functional interactions between gut microbiota and host metabolism are indeed shown in several studies (see for instance [6]), and result in health maintenance, some of the benefits of cacao may be due to this indirect mechanism.
Rafael Franco, Ainhoa Oñatibia-Astibia, and Eva Martínez-Pinilla. Health Benefits of Methylxanthines in Cacao and Chocolate. Nutrients. 2013 Oct; 5(10): 4159–4173. Published online 2013 Oct 18. doi: 10.3390/nu5104159

J Pérez-Jiménez, V Neveu, F Vos & A Scalbert . Identification of the 100 richest dietary sources of polyphenols: an application of the Phenol-Explorer database European Journal of Clinical Nutrition volume 64, pages S112–S120 (2010)

Theobromine is useful in asthma and in other respiratory tract problems such as cough for which no definitive drug has been developed… Benefits of the theobromine on cough seem to be related with its anti-inflammatory potential as well as with modulation of airway reactivity (Mokry et al., 2009). Non-selective phosphodiesterase inhibitors are already efficacious in suppression of airway hyperreactivity. From the dozen existing enzymes cleaving cyclic mononucleotides (cAMP/cGMP), phosphodiesterase four is a good choice as therapeutic target in cough suppression (Mokry and Nosalova, 2011). Cortijo et al. (1993) showed an enrichment of phosphodiesterase four in human bronchial tissue and a good correlation between enzyme inhibition and bronchorelaxation potency.
Eva Martínez-Pinilla, Ainhoa Oñatibia-Astibia, and Rafael Franco. The relevance of theobromine for the beneficial effects of cocoa consumption. Front Pharmacol. 2015; 6: 30.. Published online 2015 Feb 20. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2015.00030. PMCID: PMC4335269. PMID: 25750625

Many Americans are chronically magnesium deficient, and cacao is an amazing source for this nutrient. Research also suggests that Cacao can play a wonderful role in heart health from lowering blood pressure to preventing strokes and other cardiovascular diseases. Just when you thought your heart couldn’t love pure dark chocolate even more.

[3] Loaded with Natural Mood Enhancers to Feel Great, Increase Focus, Reduce Stress, and Sleep Better.

While low in carbs and calories, Cacao also acts as a natural appetite suppressant. Best of all, cacao is loaded with natural mood enhancers that can help you feel great, increase focus, reduce stress, and sleep better.

In the present study, dark chocolate promotes satiety, lowers the desire to eat something sweet, and suppresses energy intake compared with milk chocolate.

L B Sørensen, and A Astrup. Eating dark and milk chocolate: a randomized crossover study of effects on appetite and energy intake. Nutr Diabetes. 2011 Dec; 1(12): e21. Published online 2011 Dec 5. doi: 10.1038/nutd.2011.17
PMCID: PMC3302125 PMID: 23455041


Chocolate eating and smelling both induced a similar appetite suppression with a disappearance of correlations between VAS scores and insulin, GLP-1 and CCK levels.

Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 Apr;37(4):584-92. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2012.85. Epub 2012 May 29. Cocoa polyphenols suppress adipogenesis in vitro and obesity in vivo by targeting insulin receptor. Min SY, Yang H, Seo SG, Shin SH, Chung MY, Kim J, Lee SJ, Lee HJ, Lee KW.

Among the myriad of health promoting effects suspected for antioxidants, anti-inflammatory actions seem to be promising. In fact, flavonols inhibit lipid peroxidation and affect production of lipid or lipid-derived molecules regulating the immune response and, recently, dietary cacao has been shown to ameliorate obesity-related inflammation in high fat-fed mice [2]. These molecules also seem to be key players in the increase of beneficial gut microbes (e.g., Lactobacilli) and the decrease of less beneficial ones (e.g., Clostridia) that follow cacao intake [3,4]. Hayek [5] has recently revisited data showing that cacao and/or chocolate modifies intestinal flora in the same way that prebiotics and probiotics do. As the functional interactions between gut microbiota and host metabolism are indeed shown in several studies (see for instance [6]), and result in health maintenance, some of the benefits of cacao may be due to this indirect mechanism.
Rafael Franco, Ainhoa Oñatibia-Astibia, and Eva Martínez-Pinilla. Health Benefits of Methylxanthines in Cacao and Chocolate. Nutrients. 2013 Oct; 5(10): 4159–4173. Published online 2013 Oct 18. doi: 10.3390/nu5104159

Cocoa decreases chance of metabolic syndrome and risk of cardiovascular diseases by as much as 37%

Adriana Buitrago-Lopez, Jean Sanderson, Laura Johnson, Samantha Warnakula, Angelga Wood, Emmanuele Di Angelantonio, Oscar Franco. Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2011;343:d4488

Massolt ET, van Haard PM, Rehfeld JF, Posthuma EF, van der Veer E, Schweitzer DH. Appetite suppression through smelling of dark chocolate correlates with changes in ghrelin in young women. Regul Pept. 2010 Apr 9;161(1-3):81-6. doi: 10.1016/j.regpep.2010.01.005. Epub 2010 Jan 25. PubMed PMID: 20102728.

This study is unique in providing functional evidence that activation of bitter taste receptors stimulates ghrelin secretion. Modulation of endogenous ghrelin levels by tastants may provide novel therapeutic applications for the treatment of weight -and gastrointestinal motility disorders.

Janssen S, Laermans J, Verhulst PJ, Thijs T, Tack J, Depoortere I. Bitter taste receptors and α-gustducin regulate the secretion of ghrelin with functional effects on food intake and gastric emptying. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Feb
1;108(5):2094-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1011508108. Epub 2011 Jan 18. PubMed PMID: 21245306; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3033292.

Cocoa decreases insulin resistance, increases insulin sensitivity and improves B Cell function

Grassi D, Necozione S, Lippi C, Croce G, Valeri L, Pasqualetti P, Desideri G, Blumberg JB, Ferri C. Cocoa reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance and improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation in hypertensives. Hypertension. 2005;46:398–405.

Heiss C, Kleinbongard P, Dejam A, Perre S, Schroeter H, Sies H, Kelm M. Acute consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa and the reversal of endothelial dysfunction in smokers. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005;46:1276 –1283.

Cocoa Dose Dependently Prevents Hyperglycemia in Obese Diabetic Mice

Tomaru M, Takano H, Osakabe N, Yasuda A, Inoue K, Yanagisawa R, Ohwatari T, Uematsu H. Dietary supplementation with cacao liquor proanthocyanidins prevents elevation of blood glucose levels in diabetic obese mice. Nutrition. 2007;23:351–355.

Cacao increases cerebral and peripheral blood flow resulting in acute improvements in mood and cognitive performance
Scholey, A. B., French, S. J., Morris, P. J., Kennedy, D. O., Milne, A. L., & Haskell, C. F. (2010). Consumption of cocoa flavanols results in acute improvements in mood and cognitive performance during sustained mental effort. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 24, 1505–1514.
Theobromine helps to improve mood via energetic arousal and improves reaction time.
Smit. Hendrik J., Gaffan E., Rogers P. Methylxanthines are the psycho-pharmacologically active constituents of chocolate. Psychopharmacology (2004). 176; 412-419.
Cocoa powder and chocolate contain numerous substances among which there is a quite large percentage of antioxidant molecules, mainly flavonoids, most abundantly found in the form of epicatechin. These substances display several beneficial actions on the brain. They enter the brain and induce widespread stimulation of brain perfusion.
Astrid Nehlig. The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. Published online 2013 Feb 5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04378.x
PEA found in cacao Helps to Modulate Mood & Ameliorate Depression
Bruinsma K, Taren DL. J Am Diet Assoc. Chocolate: food or drug? 1999 Oct;99(10):1249-56.
Sabelli HC, Javaid JI. Phenylethylamine modulation of affect: therapeutic and diagnostic implications. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1995 Winter;7(1):6-14.
Anti-inflammatory properties of cacao, fruits of Theobroma cacao L. (Sterculiaceae), are well documented, and therapeutic applications are described for gastrointestinal, nervous, and cardiovascular abnormalities. Most, if not all of these disease conditions involve inflammation or immune activation processes.
Kathrin Becker, Simon Geisler, Florian Ueberall, Dietmar Fuchs, and Johanna M. Gostner. Immunomodulatory properties of cacao extracts – potential consequences for medical applications. Front Pharmacol. 2013; 4: 154. Published online 2013 Dec 12. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2013.00154. PMCID: PMC3859901 PMID: 24376420

Further, cocoa consumption may stimulate changes in redox-sensitive signaling pathways involved in gene expression and the immune response. Cocoa can protect nerves from injury and inflammation, protect the skin from oxidative damage from UV radiation in topical preparations, and have beneficial effects on satiety, cognitive function, and mood.
David L. Katz, Kim Doughty, and Ather Ali. Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2011 Nov 15; 15(10): 2779–2811. doi: 10.1089/ars.2010.3697. PMCID: PMC4696435. PMID: 21470061

Cacao increases cerebral and peripheral blood flow resulting in acute improvements in mood and cognitive performance
Scholey, A. B., French, S. J., Morris, P. J., Kennedy, D. O., Milne, A. L., & Haskell, C. F. (2010). Consumption of cocoa flavanols results in acute improvements in mood and cognitive performance during sustained mental effort. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 24, 1505–1514.
Theobromine helps to improve mood via energetic arousal and improves reaction time.
Smit. Hendrik J., Gaffan E., Rogers P. Methylxanthines are the psycho-pharmacologically active constituents of chocolate. Psychopharmacology (2004). 176; 412-
Flavanol-rich chocolate acutely improves arterial function and working memory performance counteracting the effects of sleep deprivation in healthy individuals.

Grassi D, Socci V, Tempesta D, Ferri C, De Gennaro L, Desideri G, Ferrara M. Flavanol-rich chocolate acutely improves arterial function and working memory performance counteracting the effects of sleep deprivation in healthy
individuals. J Hypertens. 2016 Jul;34(7):1298-308. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000000926. PubMed PMID: 27088635.

PEA found in cacao Helps to Modulate Mood & Ameliorate Depression
Bruinsma K, Taren DL. J Am Diet Assoc. Chocolate: food or drug? 1999 Oct;99(10):1249-56.
Sabelli HC, Javaid JI. Phenylethylamine modulation of affect: therapeutic and diagnostic implications. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1995 Winter;7(1):6-14.

Cocoa powder and chocolate contain numerous substances among which there is a quite large percentage of antioxidant molecules, mainly flavonoids, most abundantly found in the form of epicatechin. These substances display several beneficial actions on the brain. They enter the brain and induce widespread stimulation of brain perfusion.
Astrid Nehlig. The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. Published online 2013 Feb 5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04378.

Cacao Boosts Serotonin and Dopamine Levels in Brain and Improve NO Availability by protecting vascular endothelium function http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/04/27/chocolate-and-mood-disorders/
Heiss, C., Dejam, A., Kleinbongard, P., Schewe, T., Sies, H., & Kelm, M. (2003). Vascular effects of cocoa rich in flavan-3-ols. Research Letters, 290, 1030–1031.
Chocolate Consumption, Cognitive Function, and Nobel Laureates. The New England Journal of Medicine. http://paulseabright.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/NEJM-%E2%80%94.pdf


Heart Health – Blood Pressure, Platelet Function, Cholesterol, & CVHD
Dark Chocolate Decreases Blood Pressure and Improves Formation of Vasodilative Nitric Oxide

Dirk Taubert, MD, PhD; Renate Roesen, PhD; Clara Lehmann, MD; Norma Jung, MD; Edgar Schömig, MD. Effects of Low Habitual Cocoa Intake on Blood Pressure and Bioactive Nitric Oxide. JAMA. 2007;298(1):49-60. doi:10.1001/jama.298.1.49.

Corti R. et al. Cocoa and Cardiovascular Health. American Heart Association. 2009; 119: 1433-1441. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/119/10/1433

Cocoa intake shown to lower systolic blood pressure by 12 mm UG
Grassi D, Necozione S, Lippi C, Croce G, Valeri L, Pasqualetti P, Desideri G, Blumberg JB, Ferri C. Cocoa reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance and improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation in hypertensives. Hypertension. 2005;46:398–405.

Meta-analysis Shows Cocoa to have Similar BP Lowering Effects to Drugs

Taubert, Roesen R, Schomig E. Effect of cocoa and tea intake on blood pressure:
a meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. 2007;167:626

Theobromine intake alone reduces blood pressure.
Van den Bogaard B, Draijer R, Westerhof BE, van den Meiracker AH, van Montfrans GA, van den Born BJ. Effects on peripheral and central blood pressure of cocoa with natural or high-dose theobromine: a randomized, double blind crossover trial. Hypertension 2010;56:839–46.

Kuna Indians exhibit low blood pressure rates across the entire population and no age related decline in Kidney function. Cocoa drinks are their primary beverage.

Hollenberg NK, Martinez G, McCullough M, Meinking T, Passan D,Preston M, Rivera A, Taplin D, Vicaria- Clement M. Aging, acculturation,salt intake, and hypertension in the Kuna of Panama. Hypertension. 1997; 29:171–176.

Hollenberg NK, Rivera A, Meinking T, Martinez G, McCullough M,Passan D, Preston M, Taplin D, Vicaria- Clement M. Age, renal perfusion and function in island-dwelling indigenous Kuna Amerinds of Panama. Nephron. 1999;82:131–138.

Clinical benefit and preservation of flavonols in dark chocolate manufacturing. Nutrition Reviews® Vol. 66(11):630–641

Chocolate consumption appears to lower CVD risk and stroke risk. Studies show decrease in platelet aggregation, adhesion, and activation.

Brian Buijsse, Cornelia Weikert, Dagmar Drogan, Manuela Bergmann, Heiner Boeing. Chocolate Consumption in Relation to Blood Pressure and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in German Adults. Euro Heart. J. 2010;21(13):1554-1556.

Rein D, Paglieroni TG, Wun T, Pearson DA, Schmitz HH, Gosselin R, Keen CL. Cocoa inhibits platelet activation and function. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;72:30 –35.

Flammer AJ, Hermann F, Sudano I, Spieker L, Hermann M, Cooper KA, Serafini M, Luscher TF, Ruschitzka F, Noll G, Corti R. Dark. Chocolate improves coronary vasomotion and reduces platelet reactivity. Circulation. 2007;116:2376 –2382.

Cocoa consumption increases HDL cholesterol by as much as 14%, reduces total serum and LDL cholesterol by as much as 12%, and may inhibit lipid peroxidation.

Mursu J, Voutilainen S, Nurmi T, Rissanen TH, Virtanen JK, Kaikkonen J, Nyyssonen K, Salonen JT. Dark chocolate consumption increases HDL cholesterol concentration and chocolate fatty acids may inhibit lipid peroxidation in healthy humans. Free Radic Biol Med. 2004;37: 1351-1359.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15454274

Grassi D, Necozione S, Lippi C, Croce G, Valeri L, Pasqualetti P, Desideri G, Blumberg JB, Ferri C. Cocoa reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance and improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation in hypertensives. Hypertension. 2005;46:398–405.

Baba S, Osakabe N, Kato Y, Natsume M, Yasuda A, Kido T, Fukuda K, Muto Y, Kondo K. Continuous intake of polyphenolic compounds containing cocoa powder reduces LDL oxidative susceptibility and has beneficial effects on plasma HDL-cholesterol concentrations in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85:709 –717.

Heart-Health Benefits of Chocolate Unveiled: Is Chocolate Good for Your Heart?
http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/prevention/nutrition/chocolate.aspx

Chocolate and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: A Systematic Review
http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/3/1/2

The epicatechin content of cocoa is primarily responsible for its favorable impact on vascular endothelium via its effect on both acute and chronic upregulation of nitric oxide production. Other cardiovascular effects are mediated through anti-inflammatory effects of cocoa polyphenols, and modulated through the activity of NF-κB. Antioxidant effects of cocoa may directly influence insulin resistance and, in turn, reduce risk for diabetes.
David L. Katz, Kim Doughty, and Ather Ali. Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2011 Nov 15; 15(10): 2779–2811. doi: 10.1089/ars.2010.3697. PMCID: PMC4696435. PMID: 21470061
A growing body of experimental and epidemiological evidence highlights that the intake of cocoa polyphenols may reduce the risk of cardiovascular events
Aprotosoaie AC, Miron A, Trifan A, Luca VS, Costache II. The Cardiovascular Effects of Cocoa Polyphenols-An Overview. Diseases. 2016 Dec 17;4(4). pii: E39. doi: 10.3390/diseases4040039. Review. PubMed PMID: 28933419; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5456324.

Cocoa increases cerebral blood flow velocity in middle cerebral artery, potentially decreasing onset effects of dementia, decrease risk of stroke, and help with similar brain diseases or blood vessel related dysfunction.
Sorond FA, Lipsitz LA, Hollenberg NK, Fisher ND. Cerebral blood flow response to flavanol-rich cocoa in healthy elderly humans. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2008;4:433– 440.

A tight control of magnesium homeostasis seems to be crucial for bone health. On the basis of experimental and epidemiological studies, both low and high magnesium have harmful effects on the bones. Magnesium deficiency contributes to osteoporosis directly by acting on crystal formation and on bone cells and indirectly by impacting on the secretion and the activity of parathyroid hormone and by promoting low grade inflammation.

Sara Castiglioni, Alessandra Cazzaniga, Walter Albisetti, and Jeanette A. M. Maier. Magnesium and Osteoporosis: Current State of Knowledge and Future Research Directions. Nutrients. 2013 Aug; 5(8): 3022–3033. Published online 2013 Jul 31. doi: 10.3390/nu5083022 PMCID: PMC3775240. PMID: 23912329

The predominant mineral found in cocoa is magnesium, which catalyzes a multitude of biologic reactions, including protein synthesis and energy production. In addition, magnesium is an antiarrhythmic and hypotensive agent, and its deficiency has been linked to the metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and diabetes

Giovanni Scapagnini, Sergio Davinelli, Laura Di Renzo, Antonino De Lorenzo, Hector Hugo Olarte, Giuseppe Micali, Arrigo F. Cicero, and Salvador Gonzalez. Cocoa Bioactive Compounds: Significance and Potential for the Maintenance of Skin Health. . Nutrients. 2014 Aug; 6(8): 3202–3213. Published online 2014 Aug 11. doi: 10.3390/nu6083202. PMCID: PMC4145303. PMID: 25116848.


A tight control of magnesium homeostasis seems to be crucial for bone health. On the basis of experimental and epidemiological studies, both low and high magnesium have harmful effects on the bones. Magnesium deficiency contributes to osteoporosis directly by acting on crystal formation and on bone cells and indirectly by impacting on the secretion and the activity of parathyroid hormone and by promoting low grade inflammation.

Sara Castiglioni, Alessandra Cazzaniga, Walter Albisetti, and Jeanette A. M. Maier. Magnesium and Osteoporosis: Current State of Knowledge and Future Research Directions. Nutrients. 2013 Aug; 5(8): 3022–3033. Published online 2013 Jul 31. doi: 10.3390/nu5083022 PMCID: PMC3775240. PMID: 23912329

The predominant mineral found in cocoa is magnesium, which catalyzes a multitude of biologic reactions, including protein synthesis and energy production. In addition, magnesium is an antiarrhythmic and hypotensive agent, and its deficiency has been linked to the metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and diabetes

Giovanni Scapagnini, Sergio Davinelli, Laura Di Renzo, Antonino De Lorenzo, Hector Hugo Olarte, Giuseppe Micali, Arrigo F. Cicero, and Salvador Gonzalez. Cocoa Bioactive Compounds: Significance and Potential for the Maintenance of Skin Health. . Nutrients. 2014 Aug; 6(8): 3202–3213. Published online 2014 Aug 11. doi: 10.3390/nu6083202. PMCID: PMC4145303. PMID: 25116848.

Cacao is the only superfood that contains all the mood enhancers of anandamide, serotonin, PEA, and tryptophan that you help you feel great, increase focus, reduce stress, and sleep better.

Take a lap around this pool of mood enhancers. Cacao contains the natural chemical phenylethylamine or PEA (aka “love drug”). This is the same chemical our body produces when we fall in love which boosts mood and increases focus and alertness. Forget love. Fall in pure dark chocolate.
Heart Health – Blood Pressure, Platelet Function, Cholesterol, & CVHD
Dark Chocolate Decreases Blood Pressure and Improves Formation of Vasodilative Nitric Oxide

Dirk Taubert, MD, PhD; Renate Roesen, PhD; Clara Lehmann, MD; Norma Jung, MD; Edgar Schömig, MD. Effects of Low Habitual Cocoa Intake on Blood Pressure and Bioactive Nitric Oxide. JAMA. 2007;298(1):49-60. doi:10.1001/jama.298.1.49.

Corti R. et al. Cocoa and Cardiovascular Health. American Heart Association. 2009; 119: 1433-1441. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/119/10/1433

Cocoa intake shown to lower systolic blood pressure by 12 mm UG
Grassi D, Necozione S, Lippi C, Croce G, Valeri L, Pasqualetti P, Desideri G, Blumberg JB, Ferri C. Cocoa reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance and improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation in hypertensives. Hypertension. 2005;46:398–405.

Meta-analysis Shows Cocoa to have Similar BP Lowering Effects to Drugs

Taubert, Roesen R, Schomig E. Effect of cocoa and tea intake on blood pressure:
a meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. 2007;167:626

Theobromine intake alone reduces blood pressure.
Van den Bogaard B, Draijer R, Westerhof BE, van den Meiracker AH, van Montfrans GA, van den Born BJ. Effects on peripheral and central blood pressure of cocoa with natural or high-dose theobromine: a randomized, double blind crossover trial. Hypertension 2010;56:839–46.

Kuna Indians exhibit low blood pressure rates across the entire population and no age related decline in Kidney function. Cocoa drinks are their primary beverage.

Hollenberg NK, Martinez G, McCullough M, Meinking T, Passan D,Preston M, Rivera A, Taplin D, Vicaria- Clement M. Aging, acculturation,salt intake, and hypertension in the Kuna of Panama. Hypertension. 1997; 29:171–176.

Hollenberg NK, Rivera A, Meinking T, Martinez G, McCullough M,Passan D, Preston M, Taplin D, Vicaria- Clement M. Age, renal perfusion and function in island-dwelling indigenous Kuna Amerinds of Panama. Nephron. 1999;82:131–138.

Clinical benefit and preservation of flavonols in dark chocolate manufacturing. Nutrition Reviews® Vol. 66(11):630–641

Chocolate consumption appears to lower CVD risk and stroke risk. Studies show decrease in platelet aggregation, adhesion, and activation.

Brian Buijsse, Cornelia Weikert, Dagmar Drogan, Manuela Bergmann, Heiner Boeing. Chocolate Consumption in Relation to Blood Pressure and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in German Adults. Euro Heart. J. 2010;21(13):1554-1556.

Rein D, Paglieroni TG, Wun T, Pearson DA, Schmitz HH, Gosselin R, Keen CL. Cocoa inhibits platelet activation and function. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;72:30 –35.

Flammer AJ, Hermann F, Sudano I, Spieker L, Hermann M, Cooper KA, Serafini M, Luscher TF, Ruschitzka F, Noll G, Corti R. Dark. Chocolate improves coronary vasomotion and reduces platelet reactivity. Circulation. 2007;116:2376 –2382.

Cocoa consumption increases HDL cholesterol by as much as 14%, reduces total serum and LDL cholesterol by as much as 12%, and may inhibit lipid peroxidation.

Mursu J, Voutilainen S, Nurmi T, Rissanen TH, Virtanen JK, Kaikkonen J, Nyyssonen K, Salonen JT. Dark chocolate consumption increases HDL cholesterol concentration and chocolate fatty acids may inhibit lipid peroxidation in healthy humans. Free Radic Biol Med. 2004;37: 1351-1359.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15454274

Grassi D, Necozione S, Lippi C, Croce G, Valeri L, Pasqualetti P, Desideri G, Blumberg JB, Ferri C. Cocoa reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance and improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation in hypertensives. Hypertension. 2005;46:398–405.

Baba S, Osakabe N, Kato Y, Natsume M, Yasuda A, Kido T, Fukuda K, Muto Y, Kondo K. Continuous intake of polyphenolic compounds containing cocoa powder reduces LDL oxidative susceptibility and has beneficial effects on plasma HDL-cholesterol concentrations in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85:709 –717.

Heart-Health Benefits of Chocolate Unveiled: Is Chocolate Good for Your Heart?
http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/prevention/nutrition/chocolate.aspx

Chocolate and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: A Systematic Review
http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/3/1/2

 

Cacao also contains many other mood enhancing endorphins. One of these is anandamide (aka “bliss chemical”) which is also produced by our body after exercise which makes us feel great and reduce stress. Would it surprise you that it has been found in only one plant on earth? Cacao.

Cacao increases cerebral and peripheral blood flow resulting in acute improvements in mood and cognitive performance
Scholey, A. B., French, S. J., Morris, P. J., Kennedy, D. O., Milne, A. L., & Haskell, C. F. (2010). Consumption of cocoa flavanols results in acute improvements in mood and cognitive performance during sustained mental effort. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 24, 1505–1514.
Theobromine helps to improve mood via energetic arousal and improves reaction time.
Smit. Hendrik J., Gaffan E., Rogers P. Methylxanthines are the psycho-pharmacologically active constituents of chocolate. Psychopharmacology (2004). 176; 412-419.
Cocoa powder and chocolate contain numerous substances among which there is a quite large percentage of antioxidant molecules, mainly flavonoids, most abundantly found in the form of epicatechin. These substances display several beneficial actions on the brain. They enter the brain and induce widespread stimulation of brain perfusion.
Astrid Nehlig. The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. Published online 2013 Feb 5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04378.x
PEA found in cacao Helps to Modulate Mood & Ameliorate Depression
Bruinsma K, Taren DL. J Am Diet Assoc. Chocolate: food or drug? 1999 Oct;99(10):1249-56.
Sabelli HC, Javaid JI. Phenylethylamine modulation of affect: therapeutic and diagnostic implications. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1995 Winter;7(1):6-14.

Further, cocoa consumption may stimulate changes in redox-sensitive signaling pathways involved in gene expression and the immune response. Cocoa can protect nerves from injury and inflammation, protect the skin from oxidative damage from UV radiation in topical preparations, and have beneficial effects on satiety, cognitive function, and mood.
David L. Katz, Kim Doughty, and Ather Ali. Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2011 Nov 15; 15(10): 2779–2811. doi: 10.1089/ars.2010.3697. PMCID: PMC4696435. PMID: 21470061


Cacao also contains serotonin, a “feel-good” brain chemical and a primary neurotransmitter in the body that acts as a natural anti-depressant and plays a major role in mood and emotional health. A whole new meaning to pure dark chocolate therapy.

Cacao increases cerebral and peripheral blood flow resulting in acute improvements in mood and cognitive performance
Scholey, A. B., French, S. J., Morris, P. J., Kennedy, D. O., Milne, A. L., & Haskell, C. F. (2010). Consumption of cocoa flavanols results in acute improvements in mood and cognitive performance during sustained mental effort. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 24, 1505–1514.
Theobromine helps to improve mood via energetic arousal and improves reaction time.
Smit. Hendrik J., Gaffan E., Rogers P. Methylxanthines are the psycho-pharmacologically active constituents of chocolate. Psychopharmacology (2004). 176; 412-
Flavanol-rich chocolate acutely improves arterial function and working memory performance counteracting the effects of sleep deprivation in healthy individuals.

Grassi D, Socci V, Tempesta D, Ferri C, De Gennaro L, Desideri G, Ferrara M. Flavanol-rich chocolate acutely improves arterial function and working memory performance counteracting the effects of sleep deprivation in healthy
individuals. J Hypertens. 2016 Jul;34(7):1298-308. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000000926. PubMed PMID: 27088635.

 

Cacao also contains Tryptophan, a natural anti-depressant amino acid, that transforms into stress-protective neurotransmitters that can enhance relaxation and promote better sleep. Taking care of yourself now never tasted so good.

PEA found in cacao Helps to Modulate Mood & Ameliorate Depression
Bruinsma K, Taren DL. J Am Diet Assoc. Chocolate: food or drug? 1999 Oct;99(10):1249-56.
Sabelli HC, Javaid JI. Phenylethylamine modulation of affect: therapeutic and diagnostic implications. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1995 Winter;7(1):6-14.

Cocoa powder and chocolate contain numerous substances among which there is a quite large percentage of antioxidant molecules, mainly flavonoids, most abundantly found in the form of epicatechin. These substances display several beneficial actions on the brain. They enter the brain and induce widespread stimulation of brain perfusion.
Astrid Nehlig. The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. Published online 2013 Feb 5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04378.

Cacao Boosts Serotonin and Dopamine Levels in Brain and Improve NO Availability by protecting vascular endothelium function http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/04/27/chocolate-and-mood-disorders/
Heiss, C., Dejam, A., Kleinbongard, P., Schewe, T., Sies, H., & Kelm, M. (2003). Vascular effects of cocoa rich in flavan-3-ols. Research Letters, 290, 1030–1031.
Chocolate Consumption, Cognitive Function, and Nobel Laureates. The New England Journal of Medicine. http://paulseabright.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/NEJM-%E2%80%94.pdf

[4] Curbs Appetite and Promotes Weight Loss

While low in carbs, calories, and fat, cacao also acts as a natural appetite suppressant than can curb your appetite and promote weight loss.

[1] Cocoa also contains some other compounds with potential biological activity. These are biogenic amines such as serotonin, tryptophan, phenylethylamine, tyrosine, tryptamine and tyramine.

Astrid Nehlig. The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. Published online 2013 Feb 5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04378.x

The weight of evidence indicates that L-tryptophan in doses of 1 g or more produces an increase in rated subjective sleepiness and a decrease in sleep latency (time to sleep).

Schneider-Helmert D, Spinweber CL. Evaluation of L-tryptophan for treatment of insomnia: a review. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1986;89(1):1-7. PubMed PMID: 3090582.

Sleep laboratory and outpatient studies of the hypnotic efficacy of the amino acid L-tryptophan are reviewed, with particular emphasis on evaluation of therapeutic effectiveness in the treatment of insomnia. In younger situational insomniacs, whose sleep problem consists solely of longer than usual sleep latencies, L-tryptophan is effective in reducing sleep onset time on the first night of administration in doses ranging from 1 to 15 g.

Hartmann E. Effects of L-tryptophan on sleepiness and on sleep. J Psychiatr Res. 1982-1983;17(2):107-13.

This study suggests that HCL/PR chocolate may improve symptoms in subjects with chronic fatigue syndrome

Thozhukat Sathyapalan, Stephen Beckett, Alan S Rigby, Duane D Mellor, and Stephen L Atkin. High cocoa polyphenol rich chocolate may reduce the burden of the symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome. Nutr J. 2010; 9: 55. Published online 2010 Nov 22. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-9-55

Wait, a kind of chocolate that helps you lose weight? While low in carbs, calories, and fat, cacao acts as a natural appetite suppressant than can curb your appetite and promote weight loss.[i]

[1] Due to its impact on the levels of several ‘feel good hormones’ (see above), PEA has recently gained popularity as a nutritional supplement that is sold by numerous health stores to improve mood…

Meredith Irsfeld, Matthew Spadafore, and Dr. Birgit M. Prüß. β-phenylethylamine, a small molecule with a large impact. Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo ND 58108

PEA found in cacao Helps to Modulate Mood & Ameliorate Depression

Bruinsma K, Taren DL. J Am Diet Assoc. Chocolate: food or drug? 1999 Oct;99(10):1249-56.

Sabelli HC, Javaid JI. Phenylethylamine modulation of affect: therapeutic and diagnostic implications. J                   Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1995 Winter;7(1):6-14.

Other studies also show that Cacao stimulates serotonin production in the brain which suppresses the appetite and can result in consuming less calories. [ii]  With the combination of both polyphenol antioxidants and serotonin production in the brain, brewed cacao acts as an appetite suppressant superfood.

[1] A few other compounds with biological activity can be found in cocoa beans and derived products [including] anandamide.

Astrid Nehlig. The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. Published online 2013 Feb 5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04378.x

The eCB (endocannabinoid) system plays an important role in gating and buffering the stress response, dampening anxiety and regulating mood… Anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are the two most well-studied eCB ligands and the most abundant eCBs found in the brain to date.

Matthew N Hill and Sachin Patel. Translational evidence for the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in stress-related psychiatric illnesses. Biol Mood Anxiety Disord. 2013; 3: 19. Published online 2013 Oct 22. doi: 10.1186/2045-5380-3-19

[i] In the present study, dark chocolate promotes satiety, lowers the desire to eat something sweet, and suppresses energy intake compared with milk chocolate.

L B Sørensen, and A Astrup. Eating dark and milk chocolate: a randomized crossover study of effects on appetite and energy intake. Nutr Diabetes. 2011 Dec; 1(12): e21. Published online 2011 Dec 5. doi: 10.1038/nutd.2011.17

PMCID: PMC3302125 PMID: 23455041

Chocolate eating and smelling both induced a similar appetite suppression with a disappearance of correlations between VAS scores and insulin, GLP-1 and CCK levels.

Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 Apr;37(4):584-92. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2012.85. Epub 2012 May 29. Cocoa polyphenols suppress adipogenesis in vitro and obesity in vivo by targeting insulin receptor. Min SY, Yang H, Seo SG, Shin SH, Chung MY, Kim J, Lee SJ, Lee HJ, Lee KW.

Among the myriad of health promoting effects suspected for antioxidants, anti-inflammatory actions seem to be promising. In fact, flavonols inhibit lipid peroxidation and affect production of lipid or lipid-derived molecules regulating the immune response and, recently, dietary cacao has been shown to ameliorate obesity-related inflammation in high fat-fed mice [2]. These molecules also seem to be key players in the increase of beneficial gut microbes (e.g., Lactobacilli) and the decrease of less beneficial ones (e.g., Clostridia) that follow cacao intake [3,4]. Hayek [5] has recently revisited data showing that cacao and/or chocolate modifies intestinal flora in the same way that prebiotics and probiotics do. As the functional interactions between gut microbiota and host metabolism are indeed shown in several studies (see for instance [6]), and result in health maintenance, some of the benefits of cacao may be due to this indirect mechanism.

Rafael Franco, Ainhoa Oñatibia-Astibia, and Eva Martínez-Pinilla. Health Benefits of Methylxanthines in Cacao and Chocolate. Nutrients. 2013 Oct; 5(10): 4159–4173. Published online 2013 Oct 18. doi: 10.3390/nu5104159

Cocoa decreases chance of metabolic syndrome and risk of cardiovascular diseases by as much as 37%

Adriana Buitrago-Lopez, Jean Sanderson, Laura Johnson, Samantha Warnakula, Angelga Wood, Emmanuele Di Angelantonio, Oscar Franco. Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2011;343:d4488

Massolt ET, van Haard PM, Rehfeld JF, Posthuma EF, van der Veer E, Schweitzer DH. Appetite suppression through smelling of dark chocolate correlates with changes in ghrelin in young women. Regul Pept. 2010 Apr 9;161(1-3):81-6. doi: 10.1016/j.regpep.2010.01.005. Epub 2010 Jan 25. PubMed PMID: 20102728.

This study is unique in providing functional evidence that activation of bitter taste receptors stimulates ghrelin secretion. Modulation of endogenous ghrelin levels by tastants may provide novel therapeutic applications for the treatment of weight -and gastrointestinal motility disorders.

Janssen S, Laermans J, Verhulst PJ, Thijs T, Tack J, Depoortere I. Bitter taste receptors and α-gustducin regulate the secretion of ghrelin with functional effects on food intake and gastric emptying. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Feb

1;108(5):2094-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1011508108. Epub 2011 Jan 18. PubMed PMID: 21245306; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3033292.

Cocoa decreases insulin resistance, increases insulin sensitivity and improves B Cell function

Grassi D, Necozione S, Lippi C, Croce G, Valeri L, Pasqualetti P, Desideri G, Blumberg JB, Ferri C. Cocoa reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance and improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation in hypertensives. Hypertension. 2005;46:398–405.

Heiss C, Kleinbongard P, Dejam A, Perre S, Schroeter H, Sies H, Kelm M. Acute consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa and the reversal of endothelial dysfunction in smokers. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005;46:1276 –1283.

Cocoa Dose Dependently Prevents Hyperglycemia in Obese Diabetic Mice

Tomaru M, Takano H, Osakabe N, Yasuda A, Inoue K, Yanagisawa R, Ohwatari T, Uematsu H. Dietary supplementation with cacao liquor proanthocyanidins prevents elevation of blood glucose levels in diabetic obese mice. Nutrition. 2007;23:351–355.

[ii] In the present study, dark chocolate promotes satiety, lowers the desire to eat something sweet, and suppresses energy intake compared with milk chocolate.

L B Sørensen, and A Astrup. Eating dark and milk chocolate: a randomized crossover study of effects on appetite and energy intake. Nutr Diabetes. 2011 Dec; 1(12): e21. Published online 2011 Dec 5. doi: 10.1038/nutd.2011.17

PMCID: PMC3302125 PMID: 23455041

Chocolate eating and smelling both induced a similar appetite suppression with a disappearance of correlations between VAS scores and insulin, GLP-1 and CCK levels.

Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 Apr;37(4):584-92. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2012.85. Epub 2012 May 29. Cocoa polyphenols suppress adipogenesis in vitro and obesity in vivo by targeting insulin receptor. Min SY, Yang H, Seo SG, Shin SH, Chung MY, Kim J, Lee SJ, Lee HJ, Lee KW.

Among the myriad of health promoting effects suspected for antioxidants, anti-inflammatory actions seem to be promising. In fact, flavonols inhibit lipid peroxidation and affect production of lipid or lipid-derived molecules regulating the immune response and, recently, dietary cacao has been shown to ameliorate obesity-related inflammation in high fat-fed mice [2]. These molecules also seem to be key players in the increase of beneficial gut microbes (e.g., Lactobacilli) and the decrease of less beneficial ones (e.g., Clostridia) that follow cacao intake [3,4]. Hayek [5] has recently revisited data showing that cacao and/or chocolate modifies intestinal flora in the same way that prebiotics and probiotics do. As the functional interactions between gut microbiota and host metabolism are indeed shown in several studies (see for instance [6]), and result in health maintenance, some of the benefits of cacao may be due to this indirect mechanism.

Rafael Franco, Ainhoa Oñatibia-Astibia, and Eva Martínez-Pinilla. Health Benefits of Methylxanthines in Cacao and Chocolate. Nutrients. 2013 Oct; 5(10): 4159–4173. Published online 2013 Oct 18. doi: 10.3390/nu5104159

Cocoa decreases chance of metabolic syndrome and risk of cardiovascular diseases by as much as 37%

Adriana Buitrago-Lopez, Jean Sanderson, Laura Johnson, Samantha Warnakula, Angelga Wood, Emmanuele Di Angelantonio, Oscar Franco. Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2011;343:d4488

Massolt ET, van Haard PM, Rehfeld JF, Posthuma EF, van der Veer E, Schweitzer DH. Appetite suppression through smelling of dark chocolate correlates with changes in ghrelin in young women. Regul Pept. 2010 Apr 9;161(1-3):81-6. doi: 10.1016/j.regpep.2010.01.005. Epub 2010 Jan 25. PubMed PMID: 20102728.

This study is unique in providing functional evidence that activation of bitter taste receptors stimulates ghrelin secretion. Modulation of endogenous ghrelin levels by tastants may provide novel therapeutic applications for the treatment of weight -and gastrointestinal motility disorders.

Janssen S, Laermans J, Verhulst PJ, Thijs T, Tack J, Depoortere I. Bitter taste receptors and α-gustducin regulate the secretion of ghrelin with functional effects on food intake and gastric emptying. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Feb

1;108(5):2094-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1011508108. Epub 2011 Jan 18. PubMed PMID: 21245306; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3033292.

Cocoa decreases insulin resistance, increases insulin sensitivity and improves B Cell function

Grassi D, Necozione S, Lippi C, Croce G, Valeri L, Pasqualetti P, Desideri G, Blumberg JB, Ferri C. Cocoa reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance and improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation in hypertensives. Hypertension. 2005;46:398–405.

Heiss C, Kleinbongard P, Dejam A, Perre S, Schroeter H, Sies H, Kelm M. Acute consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa and the reversal of endothelial dysfunction in smokers. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005;46:1276 –1283.

Cocoa Dose Dependently Prevents Hyperglycemia in Obese Diabetic Mice

Tomaru M, Takano H, Osakabe N, Yasuda A, Inoue K, Yanagisawa R, Ohwatari T, Uematsu H. Dietary supplementation with cacao liquor proanthocyanidins prevents elevation of blood glucose levels in diabetic obese mice. Nutrition. 2007;23:351–355.

[5] Lower Your Acidity Intake

Brewed cacao is near alkaline pH levels and is significantly less acidic than coffee.

Worried about that 5th cup? Brewed cacao is significantly less acidic (near pH Neutral 6.4 - 6.8) than coffee and can therefore be much easier on your digestive system.

A few other compounds with biological activity can be found in cocoa beans and derived products [including] anandamide.
Astrid Nehlig. The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. Published online 2013 Feb 5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04378.x

Cocoa also contains some other compounds with potential biological activity. These are biogenic amines such as serotonin, tryptophan, phenylethylamine, tyrosine, tryptamine and tyramine.
Astrid Nehlig. The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. Published online 2013 Feb 5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04378.x
The eCB (endocannabinoid) system plays an important role in gating and buffering the stress response, dampening anxiety and regulating mood… Indeed, dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin have all been implicated in the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders and major depressive disorder, and the vast majority of current pharmacotherapies for affective illnesses target monoaminergic systems.. interactions between eCB signaling and serotonin are indeed important for the regulation of anxiety.
Matthew N Hill and Sachin Patel. Translational evidence for the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in stress-related psychiatric illnesses. Biol Mood Anxiety Disord. 2013; 3: 19. Published online 2013 Oct 22. doi: 10.1186/2045-5380-3-19

Cocoa also contains some other compounds with potential biological activity. These are biogenic amines such as serotonin, tryptophan, phenylethylamine, tyrosine, tryptamine and tyramine.
Astrid Nehlig. The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. Published online 2013 Feb 5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04378.x
The eCB (endocannabinoid) system plays an important role in gating and buffering the stress response, dampening anxiety and regulating mood… Indeed, dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin have all been implicated in the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders and major depressive disorder, and the vast majority of current pharmacotherapies for affective illnesses target monoaminergic systems.. interactions between eCB signaling and serotonin are indeed important for the regulation of anxiety.
Matthew N Hill and Sachin Patel. Translational evidence for the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in stress-related psychiatric illnesses. Biol Mood Anxiety Disord. 2013; 3: 19. Published online 2013 Oct 22. doi: 10.1186/2045-5380-3-19

[6] Brewed cacao is 99.9% caffeine free, but contains theobromine, a naturally occurring stimulant found in cacao that can be longer lasting, milder, and more pleasant than caffeine.

In the present study, dark chocolate promotes satiety, lowers the desire to eat something sweet, and suppresses energy intake compared with milk chocolate.

L B Sørensen, and A Astrup. Eating dark and milk chocolate: a randomized crossover study of effects on appetite and energy intake. Nutr Diabetes. 2011 Dec; 1(12): e21. Published online 2011 Dec 5. doi: 10.1038/nutd.2011.17
PMCID: PMC3302125 PMID: 23455041


Chocolate eating and smelling both induced a similar appetite suppression with a disappearance of correlations between VAS scores and insulin, GLP-1 and CCK levels.

Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 Apr;37(4):584-92. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2012.85. Epub 2012 May 29. Cocoa polyphenols suppress adipogenesis in vitro and obesity in vivo by targeting insulin receptor. Min SY, Yang H, Seo SG, Shin SH, Chung MY, Kim J, Lee SJ, Lee HJ, Lee KW.

Among the myriad of health promoting effects suspected for antioxidants, anti-inflammatory actions seem to be promising. In fact, flavonols inhibit lipid peroxidation and affect production of lipid or lipid-derived molecules regulating the immune response and, recently, dietary cacao has been shown to ameliorate obesity-related inflammation in high fat-fed mice [2]. These molecules also seem to be key players in the increase of beneficial gut microbes (e.g., Lactobacilli) and the decrease of less beneficial ones (e.g., Clostridia) that follow cacao intake [3,4]. Hayek [5] has recently revisited data showing that cacao and/or chocolate modifies intestinal flora in the same way that prebiotics and probiotics do. As the functional interactions between gut microbiota and host metabolism are indeed shown in several studies (see for instance [6]), and result in health maintenance, some of the benefits of cacao may be due to this indirect mechanism.
Rafael Franco, Ainhoa Oñatibia-Astibia, and Eva Martínez-Pinilla. Health Benefits of Methylxanthines in Cacao and Chocolate. Nutrients. 2013 Oct; 5(10): 4159–4173. Published online 2013 Oct 18. doi: 10.3390/nu5104159


Cocoa decreases chance of metabolic syndrome and risk of cardiovascular diseases by as much as 37%

Adriana Buitrago-Lopez, Jean Sanderson, Laura Johnson, Samantha Warnakula, Angelga Wood, Emmanuele Di Angelantonio, Oscar Franco. Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2011;343:d4488

Massolt ET, van Haard PM, Rehfeld JF, Posthuma EF, van der Veer E, Schweitzer DH. Appetite suppression through smelling of dark chocolate correlates with changes in ghrelin in young women. Regul Pept. 2010 Apr 9;161(1-3):81-6. doi: 10.1016/j.regpep.2010.01.005. Epub 2010 Jan 25. PubMed PMID: 20102728.

This study is unique in providing functional evidence that activation of bitter taste receptors stimulates ghrelin secretion. Modulation of endogenous ghrelin levels by tastants may provide novel therapeutic applications for the treatment of weight -and gastrointestinal motility disorders.

Janssen S, Laermans J, Verhulst PJ, Thijs T, Tack J, Depoortere I. Bitter taste receptors and α-gustducin regulate the secretion of ghrelin with functional effects on food intake and gastric emptying. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Feb
1;108(5):2094-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1011508108. Epub 2011 Jan 18. PubMed PMID: 21245306; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3033292.

Cocoa decreases insulin resistance, increases insulin sensitivity and improves B Cell function

Grassi D, Necozione S, Lippi C, Croce G, Valeri L, Pasqualetti P, Desideri G, Blumberg JB, Ferri C. Cocoa reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance and improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation in hypertensives. Hypertension. 2005;46:398–405.

Heiss C, Kleinbongard P, Dejam A, Perre S, Schroeter H, Sies H, Kelm M. Acute consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa and the reversal of endothelial dysfunction in smokers. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005;46:1276 –1283.

Cocoa Dose Dependently Prevents Hyperglycemia in Obese Diabetic Mice

Tomaru M, Takano H, Osakabe N, Yasuda A, Inoue K, Yanagisawa R, Ohwatari T, Uematsu H. Dietary supplementation with cacao liquor proanthocyanidins prevents elevation of blood glucose levels in diabetic obese mice. Nutrition. 2007;23:351–355.

In the present study, dark chocolate promotes satiety, lowers the desire to eat something sweet, and suppresses energy intake compared with milk chocolate.

L B Sørensen, and A Astrup. Eating dark and milk chocolate: a randomized crossover study of effects on appetite and energy intake. Nutr Diabetes. 2011 Dec; 1(12): e21. Published online 2011 Dec 5. doi: 10.1038/nutd.2011.17
PMCID: PMC3302125 PMID: 23455041


Chocolate eating and smelling both induced a similar appetite suppression with a disappearance of correlations between VAS scores and insulin, GLP-1 and CCK levels.

Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 Apr;37(4):584-92. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2012.85. Epub 2012 May 29. Cocoa polyphenols suppress adipogenesis in vitro and obesity in vivo by targeting insulin receptor. Min SY, Yang H, Seo SG, Shin SH, Chung MY, Kim J, Lee SJ, Lee HJ, Lee KW.

Among the myriad of health promoting effects suspected for antioxidants, anti-inflammatory actions seem to be promising. In fact, flavonols inhibit lipid peroxidation and affect production of lipid or lipid-derived molecules regulating the immune response and, recently, dietary cacao has been shown to ameliorate obesity-related inflammation in high fat-fed mice [2]. These molecules also seem to be key players in the increase of beneficial gut microbes (e.g., Lactobacilli) and the decrease of less beneficial ones (e.g., Clostridia) that follow cacao intake [3,4]. Hayek [5] has recently revisited data showing that cacao and/or chocolate modifies intestinal flora in the same way that prebiotics and probiotics do. As the functional interactions between gut microbiota and host metabolism are indeed shown in several studies (see for instance [6]), and result in health maintenance, some of the benefits of cacao may be due to this indirect mechanism.
Rafael Franco, Ainhoa Oñatibia-Astibia, and Eva Martínez-Pinilla. Health Benefits of Methylxanthines in Cacao and Chocolate. Nutrients. 2013 Oct; 5(10): 4159–4173. Published online 2013 Oct 18. doi: 10.3390/nu5104159


Cocoa decreases chance of metabolic syndrome and risk of cardiovascular diseases by as much as 37%

Adriana Buitrago-Lopez, Jean Sanderson, Laura Johnson, Samantha Warnakula, Angelga Wood, Emmanuele Di Angelantonio, Oscar Franco. Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2011;343:d4488

Massolt ET, van Haard PM, Rehfeld JF, Posthuma EF, van der Veer E, Schweitzer DH. Appetite suppression through smelling of dark chocolate correlates with changes in ghrelin in young women. Regul Pept. 2010 Apr 9;161(1-3):81-6. doi: 10.1016/j.regpep.2010.01.005. Epub 2010 Jan 25. PubMed PMID: 20102728.

This study is unique in providing functional evidence that activation of bitter taste receptors stimulates ghrelin secretion. Modulation of endogenous ghrelin levels by tastants may provide novel therapeutic applications for the treatment of weight -and gastrointestinal motility disorders.

Janssen S, Laermans J, Verhulst PJ, Thijs T, Tack J, Depoortere I. Bitter taste receptors and α-gustducin regulate the secretion of ghrelin with functional effects on food intake and gastric emptying. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Feb
1;108(5):2094-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1011508108. Epub 2011 Jan 18. PubMed PMID: 21245306; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3033292.

Cocoa decreases insulin resistance, increases insulin sensitivity and improves B Cell function

Grassi D, Necozione S, Lippi C, Croce G, Valeri L, Pasqualetti P, Desideri G, Blumberg JB, Ferri C. Cocoa reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance and improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation in hypertensives. Hypertension. 2005;46:398–405.

Heiss C, Kleinbongard P, Dejam A, Perre S, Schroeter H, Sies H, Kelm M. Acute consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa and the reversal of endothelial dysfunction in smokers. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005;46:1276 –1283.

Cocoa Dose Dependently Prevents Hyperglycemia in Obese Diabetic Mice

Tomaru M, Takano H, Osakabe N, Yasuda A, Inoue K, Yanagisawa R, Ohwatari T, Uematsu H. Dietary supplementation with cacao liquor proanthocyanidins prevents elevation of blood glucose levels in diabetic obese mice. Nutrition. 2007;23:351–355.
In the present study, dark chocolate promotes satiety, lowers the desire to eat something sweet, and suppresses energy intake compared with milk chocolate.

L B Sørensen, and A Astrup. Eating dark and milk chocolate: a randomized crossover study of effects on appetite and energy intake. Nutr Diabetes. 2011 Dec; 1(12): e21. Published online 2011 Dec 5. doi: 10.1038/nutd.2011.17
PMCID: PMC3302125 PMID: 23455041


Chocolate eating and smelling both induced a similar appetite suppression with a disappearance of correlations between VAS scores and insulin, GLP-1 and CCK levels.

Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 Apr;37(4):584-92. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2012.85. Epub 2012 May 29. Cocoa polyphenols suppress adipogenesis in vitro and obesity in vivo by targeting insulin receptor. Min SY, Yang H, Seo SG, Shin SH, Chung MY, Kim J, Lee SJ, Lee HJ, Lee KW.

Among the myriad of health promoting effects suspected for antioxidants, anti-inflammatory actions seem to be promising. In fact, flavonols inhibit lipid peroxidation and affect production of lipid or lipid-derived molecules regulating the immune response and, recently, dietary cacao has been shown to ameliorate obesity-related inflammation in high fat-fed mice [2]. These molecules also seem to be key players in the increase of beneficial gut microbes (e.g., Lactobacilli) and the decrease of less beneficial ones (e.g., Clostridia) that follow cacao intake [3,4]. Hayek [5] has recently revisited data showing that cacao and/or chocolate modifies intestinal flora in the same way that prebiotics and probiotics do. As the functional interactions between gut microbiota and host metabolism are indeed shown in several studies (see for instance [6]), and result in health maintenance, some of the benefits of cacao may be due to this indirect mechanism.
Rafael Franco, Ainhoa Oñatibia-Astibia, and Eva Martínez-Pinilla. Health Benefits of Methylxanthines in Cacao and Chocolate. Nutrients. 2013 Oct; 5(10): 4159–4173. Published online 2013 Oct 18. doi: 10.3390/nu5104159


Cocoa decreases chance of metabolic syndrome and risk of cardiovascular diseases by as much as 37%

Adriana Buitrago-Lopez, Jean Sanderson, Laura Johnson, Samantha Warnakula, Angelga Wood, Emmanuele Di Angelantonio, Oscar Franco. Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2011;343:d4488

Massolt ET, van Haard PM, Rehfeld JF, Posthuma EF, van der Veer E, Schweitzer DH. Appetite suppression through smelling of dark chocolate correlates with changes in ghrelin in young women. Regul Pept. 2010 Apr 9;161(1-3):81-6. doi: 10.1016/j.regpep.2010.01.005. Epub 2010 Jan 25. PubMed PMID: 20102728.

This study is unique in providing functional evidence that activation of bitter taste receptors stimulates ghrelin secretion. Modulation of endogenous ghrelin levels by tastants may provide novel therapeutic applications for the treatment of weight -and gastrointestinal motility disorders.

Janssen S, Laermans J, Verhulst PJ, Thijs T, Tack J, Depoortere I. Bitter taste receptors and α-gustducin regulate the secretion of ghrelin with functional effects on food intake and gastric emptying. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Feb
1;108(5):2094-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1011508108. Epub 2011 Jan 18. PubMed PMID: 21245306; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3033292.

Cocoa decreases insulin resistance, increases insulin sensitivity and improves B Cell function

Grassi D, Necozione S, Lippi C, Croce G, Valeri L, Pasqualetti P, Desideri G, Blumberg JB, Ferri C. Cocoa reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance and improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation in hypertensives. Hypertension. 2005;46:398–405.

Heiss C, Kleinbongard P, Dejam A, Perre S, Schroeter H, Sies H, Kelm M. Acute consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa and the reversal of endothelial dysfunction in smokers. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005;46:1276 –1283.

Cocoa Dose Dependently Prevents Hyperglycemia in Obese Diabetic Mice

Tomaru M, Takano H, Osakabe N, Yasuda A, Inoue K, Yanagisawa R, Ohwatari T, Uematsu H. Dietary supplementation with cacao liquor proanthocyanidins prevents elevation of blood glucose levels in diabetic obese mice. Nutrition. 2007;23:351–355.
Cocoa & Alkalinity (alkalizing effect of minerals)
Effect of a supplement rich in alkaline minerals on acid-base balance in humans.
http://www.nutritionj.com/content/pdf/1475-2891-8-23.pdf

Natural cocoa powders have an extractable pH of 5.3-5.8. Alkalized cocoa powders were grouped into lightly treated (pH 6.50-7.20), medium-treated (pH 7.21-7.60), and heavily treated (pH 7.61 and higher). The natural, nonalkalized powders had the highest ORAC and total polyphenols and flavanols (including procyanidins).
Miller KB, Hurst WJ, Payne MJ, Stuart DA, Apgar J, Sweigart DS, Ou B. Impact of alkalization on the antioxidant and flavanol content of commercial cocoa powders. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Sep 24;56(18):8527-33. doi: 10.1021/jf801670p. Epub 2008 Aug 19. PubMed PMID: 18710243.


Using coffee for your anger management? Theobromine gives you longer lasting, milder energy without the jitters and crash that can come from caffeine.

The pH values of the cold and hot brew samples were found to be comparable, ranging from 4.85 to 5.13… The hot brew coffee samples analyzed in this study were found to have pH values ranging from 4.85 to 5.10.
Niny Z. Raocorresponding author and Megan Fuller. Acidity and Antioxidant Activity of Cold Brew Coffee. Sci Rep. 2018; 8: 16030. Published online 2018 Oct 30. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-34392-w. PMCID: PMC6207714. PMID: 30375458

The average theobromine and caffeine content of liquors has been reported at 1.2% and 0.21%, respectively. Cocoa powder, which is prepared after removal of the cocoa butter, contains about 1.9% theobromine and 0.21% caffeine. Chocolate beverages comprise the most widely studied category of chocolate products. Hot cocoa provides 62 mg/serving of theobromine and 4 mg/serving of caffeine when prepared from commercial instant mixes. Instant cold chocolate milk mixes supply an average of 58 mg/serving of theobromine and 5 mg/serving of caffeine.

Shively CA, Tarka SM Jr. Methylxanthine composition and consumption patterns of cocoa and chocolate products. Prog Clin Biol Res. 1984;158:149-78. Review. PubMed PMID: 6396642.

How does this work? Theobromine acts as a vasodilator which expands your blood vessels to increase blood flow. Contrastingly, caffeine is a vasoconstrictor which constricts your blood vessels causing the heart to work harder to increase blood flow . Come to the dark side. We’ve got chocolate.
You’ll also love that brewed cacao is 99.9% caffeine free and its boost of natural energy feels akin to a goodnight’s sleep. We could all use some more of that!
Theobromine: Dimethylxanthine. The principle alkaloid in Theobroma cacao (the cacao bean) and other plants. A xanthine alkaloid that is used as a bronchodilator and as a vasodilator. It has a weaker diuretic activity than THEOPHYLLINE and is also a less powerful stimulant of smooth muscle. It has practically no stimulant effect on the central nervous system. It was formerly used as a diuretic and in the treatment of angina pectoris and hypertension.
Source: Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, pp1318-9
Theobromine is a dimethylxanthine having the two methyl groups located at positions 3 and 7. A purine alkaloid derived from the cacao plant, it is found in chocolate, as well as in a number of other foods, and is a vasodilator, diuretic and heart stimulator. It has a role as an adenosine receptor antagonist, a food component, a plant metabolite, a human blood serum metabolite, a mouse metabolite, a vasodilator agent and a bronchodilator agent.
Source: ChEBI Record Name: Theobromine URL: http://www.ebi.ac.uk/chebi/searchId.do?chebiId=CHEBI:28946

This study tested the hypothesis that a combination of caffeine and theobromine has synergistic effects on cognition, mood and blood pressure in 24 healthy female subjects. The effects of theobromine (700 mg), caffeine (120 mg) or the combination of both, or placebo were tested on mood (the Bond-Lader visual analog scale), psychomotor performance (the Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST)) and blood pressure before and at 1, 2 and 3 h after administration. Theobromine alone decreased self-reported calmness 3h after ingestion and lowered blood pressure relative to placebo 1 h after ingestion. Caffeine increased self-reported alertness 1, 2 and 3h after ingestion and contentedness 1 and 2 h after ingestion, and increased blood pressure relative to placebo (at 1 h). The combination of caffeine+theobromine had similar effects as caffeine alone on mood, but with no effect on blood pressure.
Mitchell ES, Slettenaar M, vd Meer N, Transler C, Jans L, Quadt F, Berry M. Differential contributions of theobromine and caffeine on mood, psychomotor performance and blood pressure.
Physiol Behav. 2011 Oct 24; 104(5):816-22

See Also: Baggott MJ, Childs E, Hart AB, de Bruin E, Palmer AA, Wilkinson JE, de Wit H
. Psychopharmacology of theobromine in healthy volunteers. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2013 Jul; 228(1):109-18.

As methylxanthines, caffeine and theobromine (Figure (Figure1),1), are blockers of adenosine receptors which are G-protein-coupled receptors that sense the presence of extracellular adenosine. Adenosine is both an intermediate metabolite and also a messenger molecule that exerts its hormone-like action in the periphery and acts as a potent neuroregulator in the CNS… Brain physiology is dependent upon variations in the concentration of adenosine that impacts on adenosine receptors in neurons. In this sense, a quick way to start the daily activities is disrupting the effect of adenosine in the brain by using blockers of its specific receptors. Technically such blockers are called “antagonists” and, therefore, caffeine and theobromine are antagonists of adenosine receptors. Growing evidence in the last decade indicates that theobromine has psychoactive actions in humans that are qualitatively different from those of caffeine
Eva Martínez-Pinilla, Ainhoa Oñatibia-Astibia, and Rafael Franco. The relevance of theobromine for the beneficial effects of cocoa consumption. Front Pharmacol. 2015; 6: 30.. Published online 2015 Feb 20. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2015.00030. PMCID: PMC4335269. PMID: 25750625

One possible explanation for the discrepancy in the effects of caffeine and theobromine could be their different half-life. Half-life of theobromine is higher than caffeine even in rodents, which have a faster hepatic metabolism… As relatively stable compound, theobromine may play a crucial role in some beneficial effects attributed to caffeine.
Eva Martínez-Pinilla, Ainhoa Oñatibia-Astibia, and Rafael Franco. The relevance of theobromine for the beneficial effects of cocoa consumption. Front Pharmacol. 2015; 6: 30.. Published online 2015 Feb 20. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2015.00030. PMCID: PMC4335269. PMID: 25750625
This study tested the hypothesis that a combination of caffeine and theobromine has synergistic effects on cognition, mood and blood pressure in 24 healthy female subjects. The effects of theobromine (700 mg), caffeine (120 mg) or the combination of both, or placebo were tested on mood (the Bond-Lader visual analog scale), psychomotor performance (the Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST)) and blood pressure before and at 1, 2 and 3 h after administration. Theobromine alone decreased self-reported calmness 3h after ingestion and lowered blood pressure relative to placebo 1 h after ingestion. Caffeine increased self-reported alertness 1, 2 and 3h after ingestion and contentedness 1 and 2 h after ingestion, and increased blood pressure relative to placebo (at 1 h). The combination of caffeine+theobromine had similar effects as caffeine alone on mood, but with no effect on blood pressure.
Mitchell ES, Slettenaar M, vd Meer N, Transler C, Jans L, Quadt F, Berry M. Differential contributions of theobromine and caffeine on mood, psychomotor performance and blood pressure.
Physiol Behav. 2011 Oct 24; 104(5):816-22

See Also: Baggott MJ, Childs E, Hart AB, de Bruin E, Palmer AA, Wilkinson JE, de Wit H
. Psychopharmacology of theobromine in healthy volunteers. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2013 Jul; 228(1):109-18.

As methylxanthines, caffeine and theobromine (Figure (Figure1),1), are blockers of adenosine receptors which are G-protein-coupled receptors that sense the presence of extracellular adenosine. Adenosine is both an intermediate metabolite and also a messenger molecule that exerts its hormone-like action in the periphery and acts as a potent neuroregulator in the CNS… Brain physiology is dependent upon variations in the concentration of adenosine that impacts on adenosine receptors in neurons. In this sense, a quick way to start the daily activities is disrupting the effect of adenosine in the brain by using blockers of its specific receptors. Technically such blockers are called “antagonists” and, therefore, caffeine and theobromine are antagonists of adenosine receptors. Growing evidence in the last decade indicates that theobromine has psychoactive actions in humans that are qualitatively different from those of caffeine
Eva Martínez-Pinilla, Ainhoa Oñatibia-Astibia, and Rafael Franco. The relevance of theobromine for the beneficial effects of cocoa consumption. Front Pharmacol. 2015; 6: 30.. Published online 2015 Feb 20. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2015.00030. PMCID: PMC4335269. PMID: 25750625

One possible explanation for the discrepancy in the effects of caffeine and theobromine could be their different half-life. Half-life of theobromine is higher than caffeine even in rodents, which have a faster hepatic metabolism… As relatively stable compound, theobromine may play a crucial role in some beneficial effects attributed to caffeine.
Eva Martínez-Pinilla, Ainhoa Oñatibia-Astibia, and Rafael Franco. The relevance of theobromine for the beneficial effects of cocoa consumption. Front Pharmacol. 2015; 6: 30.. Published online 2015 Feb 20. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2015.00030. PMCID: PMC4335269. PMID: 25750625
This study tested the hypothesis that a combination of caffeine and theobromine has synergistic effects on cognition, mood and blood pressure in 24 healthy female subjects. The effects of theobromine (700 mg), caffeine (120 mg) or the combination of both, or placebo were tested on mood (the Bond-Lader visual analog scale), psychomotor performance (the Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST)) and blood pressure before and at 1, 2 and 3 h after administration. Theobromine alone decreased self-reported calmness 3h after ingestion and lowered blood pressure relative to placebo 1 h after ingestion. Caffeine increased self-reported alertness 1, 2 and 3h after ingestion and contentedness 1 and 2 h after ingestion, and increased blood pressure relative to placebo (at 1 h). The combination of caffeine+theobromine had similar effects as caffeine alone on mood, but with no effect on blood pressure.
Mitchell ES, Slettenaar M, vd Meer N, Transler C, Jans L, Quadt F, Berry M. Differential contributions of theobromine and caffeine on mood, psychomotor performance and blood pressure.
Physiol Behav. 2011 Oct 24; 104(5):816-22

See Also: Baggott MJ, Childs E, Hart AB, de Bruin E, Palmer AA, Wilkinson JE, de Wit H
. Psychopharmacology of theobromine in healthy volunteers. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2013 Jul; 228(1):109-18.
As methylxanthines, caffeine and theobromine (Figure (Figure1),1), are blockers of adenosine receptors which are G-protein-coupled receptors that sense the presence of extracellular adenosine. Adenosine is both an intermediate metabolite and also a messenger molecule that exerts its hormone-like action in the periphery and acts as a potent neuroregulator in the CNS… Brain physiology is dependent upon variations in the concentration of adenosine that impacts on adenosine receptors in neurons. In this sense, a quick way to start the daily activities is disrupting the effect of adenosine in the brain by using blockers of its specific receptors. Technically such blockers are called “antagonists” and, therefore, caffeine and theobromine are antagonists of adenosine receptors. Growing evidence in the last decade indicates that theobromine has psychoactive actions in humans that are qualitatively different from those of caffeine
Eva Martínez-Pinilla, Ainhoa Oñatibia-Astibia, and Rafael Franco. The relevance of theobromine for the beneficial effects of cocoa consumption. Front Pharmacol. 2015; 6: 30.. Published online 2015 Feb 20. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2015.00030. PMCID: PMC4335269. PMID: 25750625

Theobromine is a dimethylxanthine having the two methyl groups located at positions 3 and 7. A purine alkaloid derived from the cacao plant, it is found in chocolate, as well as in a number of other foods, and is a vasodilator, diuretic and heart stimulator. It has a role as an adenosine receptor antagonist, a food component, a plant metabolite, a human blood serum metabolite, a mouse metabolite, a vasodilator agent and a bronchodilator agent.
Source: ChEBI Record Name: Theobromine URL: http://www.ebi.ac.uk/chebi/searchId.do?chebiId=CHEBI:28946
Caffeine is a commonly used neurostimulant that also produces cerebral vasoconstriction by antagonizing adenosine receptors. Chronic caffeine use results in an adaptation of the vascular adenosine receptor system presumably to compensate for the vasoconstrictive effects of caffeine. We investigated the effects of caffeine on cerebral blood flow (CBF) in increasing levels of chronic caffeine use.
Addicott MA, Yang LL, Peiffer AM, Burnett LR, Burdette JH, Chen MY, Hayasaka S, Kraft RA, Maldjian JA, Laurienti PJ. The effect of daily caffeine use on cerebral blood flow: How much caffeine can we tolerate? Hum Brain Mapp. 2009 Oct;30(10):3102-14. doi: 10.1002/hbm.20732. PubMed PMID: 19219847; PubMed Central. PMCID: PMC2748160.
Theobromine: Dimethylxanthine. The principle alkaloid in Theobroma cacao (the cacao bean) and other plants. A xanthine alkaloid that is used as a bronchodilator and as a vasodilator. It has a weaker diuretic activity than THEOPHYLLINE and is also a less powerful stimulant of smooth muscle. It has practically no stimulant effect on the central nervous system. It was formerly used as a diuretic and in the treatment of angina pectoris and hypertension.
Source: Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, pp1318-9
The average theobromine and caffeine content of liquors has been reported at 1.2% and 0.21%, respectively. Cocoa powder, which is prepared after removal of the cocoa butter, contains about 1.9% theobromine and 0.21% caffeine. Chocolate beverages comprise the most widely studied category of chocolate products. Hot cocoa provides 62 mg/serving of theobromine and 4 mg/serving of caffeine when prepared from commercial instant mixes. Instant cold chocolate milk mixes supply an average of 58 mg/serving of theobromine and 5 mg/serving of caffeine.

Shively CA, Tarka SM Jr. Methylxanthine composition and consumption patterns of cocoa and chocolate products. Prog Clin Biol Res. 1984;158:149-78. Review. PubMed PMID: 6396642.

Caffeine and theobromine are the most abundant methylxanthines in cacao and their physiological effects are notable. Their health-promoting benefits are so remarkable that chocolate is explored as a functional food. The consequences of adenosine receptor blockade by natural compounds present in cacao/chocolate are here reviewed. Palatability and health benefits of methylxanthines, in general, and theobromine, in particular, have further contributed to sustain one of the most innocuous and pleasant habits: chocolate consumption.
Rafael Franco, Ainhoa Oñatibia-Astibia, and Eva Martínez-Pinilla. Health Benefits of Methylxanthines in Cacao and Chocolate. Nutrients. 2013 Oct; 5(10): 4159–4173. Published online 2013 Oct 18. doi: 10.3390/nu5104159

[7] Keto, Paleo, Whole 30, Non-GMO, and Kosher

Crio Bru Brewed Cacao’s core product line is made from 100% pure ground cacao beans. Nothing more, nothing less. Unlike most processed cocoa products, Crio Bru Brewed Cacao uses the full cacao bean to retain more of its important nutrients.

During cocoa processing, the naturally occurring antioxidants (flavonoids) are lost, while others, such as Maillard reaction products, are formed. The final content of antioxidant compounds and the antioxidant activity of chocolate is a function of several variables, some related to the raw material and others related to processing and formulation. The aim of this mini-review is to revise the literature on the impact of full processing on the in vitro antioxidant activity of chocolate, providing a critical analysis of the implications of processing on the evaluation of the antioxidant effect of chocolate in in vivo studies in humans.

Carla D. Di Mattia, Giampiero Sacchetti, Dino Mastrocola, and Mauro Serafini. From Cocoa to Chocolate: The Impact of Processing on In Vitro Antioxidant Activity and the Effects of Chocolate on Antioxidant Markers In Vivo. Front Immunol. 2017; 8: 1207. Published online 2017 Sep 29. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.01207. PMCID: PMC5626833.PMID: 29033932