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Theobromine

Theobromine

MW: 180.17
Formula: C7H8 N4O2

What is Theobromine?

Theobromine is an alkaloid belonging to the methylxanthines. The structure of theobromine is similar to that of caffeine.

Distribution

Theobromine is mainly found in cocoa beans (about 25 g/kg), and consequently in chocolate. Theobromine levels are highest in dark chocolates (about 10 g/kg). Milk chocolates contains about 2 to 5 g theobromine per kg. (1-5 g/kg). Theobromine is also present in tea and cola nuts.

Health Benefits of Theobromine

Theobromine has a similar effect than caffeine, but about 10 times weaker. Theobromine has diuretic, stimulant and relaxing effects. Theobromine can lower the blood pressure because it can to dilate blood vessels.
Theobromine has stimulant properties, similar to caffeine. Unlike caffeine theobromine does not affect the central nervous system.
Theobromine can also relax bronchi muscles in the lungs. Theobromine can be used as cough medicine. Studies indicate that theobromine acts on the vagus nerve, which runs from the lungs to the brain.

Facts about Theobromine

Although theobromine does not cause harmful effects with humans, it is highly toxic to some domestic animals, including dogs and horses. With the animals, theobromine can lead to cardiac arrhythmias and seizures.
Theobromine has a bitter flavour, which gives dark chocolate its typical bitter taste.

Synonyms

3,7-dimethylxanthine, 3,7-dihydro-3,7-dimethyl-1H-purine-2,6-dione



 
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