Can chocolate kill you? (3 Notable Sides)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can chocolate kill you? We will elaborate on if and how chocolate can kill you. We will also discuss some characteristics of coffee, including the good and the bad.

Can chocolate kill you?

Theoretically, chocolate can kill you if you eat lots of it. The toxic dose of chocolate can poison a person and be fatal. However, a more likely scenario is to get severe food poisoning from chocolate. 

You will have an upset stomach with vomiting and will require immediate medical attention. 

Dark chocolate has toxic compounds in minute quantities that will cause toxicity if consumed in high quantities. Other immediate short-term side effects are severe headaches and nausea.

For chocolate to kill you, you will need to eat 711 Hershey’s Chocolate Bars, 7,084 Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses, or 332 standard-sized Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Bars.

Why can chocolate be harmful to you?

Theobromine and copper are present in high levels in chocolate. You have to consume the compounds in extremely large amounts to kill or cause harm to you.

Caffeine and a compound called Phenythalemine cause the heartbeat to be faster. The stimulants present as caffeine and theobromine in cocoa butter could harm a person’s mental health as well as physical health.

Theobromine

Theobromine is an alkaloid; a compound that can be toxic. Theobromine is known for its desirable bitter taste in cocoa, tea, coffee, and even nicotine. However, it has all the characteristics that can make it toxic. THeobromine acts as vasodilator, diuretic and an stimulant. It can interfere with the mental state, the nervous system, and the Gastrointestinal system and cause a toxic reaction.

Theobromine acts as a vasodilator and a diuretic. As a vasodilator, theobromine makes the blood vessels dilate and the blood pressure decrease. Theobromine is a diuretic that increases the volume of urine.

Theobromine enters the brain through the semipermeable blood capillaries.

Low blood pressure and an increased heart rate, can have a detrimental impact on the heart and cause cardiovascular failure if a person consumes toxic levels. 

Theobromine poisoning in lethal dose will cause worse symptoms such as cardiac arrhythmias, epileptic seizures, internal bleeding, heart attacks, and eventually death 

Getting theobromine poisoning is only hypothetically possible.

The first response of the body if you consume an excessive amount of chocolate; would be food poisoning. The body responds in such a way that helps prevent toxins from harming the body by getting rid of the harmful substances. 

Therefore, your body signals and forces you to stop the intake of the food or substance, that is causing distress to the body.

Theobromine toxicity level is at 1,000 milligrams of theobromine per kilogram of body weight. For an average person with a weight of 165 pounds, or 75 kilograms; the toxic level of theobromine would be 75000 mg.

On average, it will take 85 average-sized bars to poison a person.

The amount of theobromine varies with chocolate;

Milk and processed chocolate have 2.4 milligrams of theobromine per gram.

Dark chocolate has 5.5 milligrams of theobromine per gram.

Baker’s Chocolate has the highest amount of theobromine, 16 milligrams per gram. 

The toxic levels in animals are higher than in humans; therefore, there is a better chance for chocolate to kill a domestic cat or dog.

Caffeine 

While caffeine is also high in chocolate, there is a lower risk of succumbing to the substance in chocolate. Caffeine is a stimulant that speeds up the nervous system which, is accompanied by negative effects too. Caffeine too causes frequent urination, irritability, and increased blood pressure. However, in chocolate, caffeine is only 43 mg per 100 grams, which is very less when compared to other caffeine sources. Caffeine can kill a person if the amount exceeds 10 grams.

Should you eat chocolate at all?

Like everything else in life, moderation is the key. Chocolate that has a high cocoa content has health benefits, such as dark chocolate. 

Consumption of healthy chocolates with a high content of cacao can improve a person’s quality of life. Dark chocolate has flavonoids, copper, magnesium; and other tremendous compounds and elements; most of which have been proven to have a positive impact.

The flavenoids protect the cells and tissues from harm caused by the free radicals. Free radicals released by the body, have several ill effects on a person’s well-being from, cancers to premature aging. 

The polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins in chocolate help reduce blood pressure. It also lowers body mass index, inflammatory proteins and prevents cardiovascular diseases.

Copper and magnesium enable effective nerve transmissions that contribute to your mental well-being by relaxing muscles and neurotransmitters.

In this brief guide, we answered the question, can chocolate kill you? We elaborated on if and how chocolate can kill you. We also discussed some characteristics of coffee, including the good and the bad.

Citations

https://www.popsci.com/chocolate-theobromine-toxic-amount/
https://www.healthline.com/health-news/how-you-can-die-from-caffeine#Can-caffeine-kill?
https://www.businessinsider.in/science/health/14-seemingly-harmless-things-you-eat-drink-and-use-all-the-time-that-can-kill-you/slidelist/47111743.cms#slideid=47111752

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.