Theobromine is the principal alkaloid of the cacao bean and about 1.5-3% of chocolate is theobromine. It is also an alkaloid, and is a weak stimulant for the central nervous system. Theobromine is responsible for the bitter taste of chocolate. As it only has a half life of 6 to 10 hours it is in the body for quite a short time and hence does not have strong subjective effects.  

However it is a diuretic, a cardiac stimulant and will cause dilation of arteries. Two much theobromine one could suffer from nausea, insomnia, restlessness, excitement and even mild delirium. But the good news is that you would have to eat an awful lot of chocolate before the theobromine effects are seen.

This is not the case for all animals, as 2oz contains enough theobromine to kill a small dog. For the same reason small children can often be sick from too much chocolate.


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