Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid that is usually found in cough medicines and chocolate products. Theobromine is insoluble in water, while the color is often colorless or white. An alkaloid is the primary substance that you will most likely find in a tea plant, guarana berry, kola nut, and a greater abundance is present in cocoa and dark chocolate products.
In 1841, theobromine was first discovered in cacao beans by a Russian chemist by the name of Alexander Woskresensky; later on it was synthesized from a crystalline purine base called xanthine. Theobromine is also referred to as xantheose, which is the bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant. The term theobromine is derived from Theobroma, this is the name of the genus cacao tree. In Greek, Theobroma means “food of the gods.”
Health Benefits of Theobromine
After the discovery of theobromine in the 19th century, the compound was first used as a source of medicinal treatment in 1916. Theobromine was used to treat a number of health conditions that ranged from degenerative angina, syphilitic angina, vascular diseases, hypertension, and arteriosclerosis. During the modern era, theobromine has been used effectively as a cardiovascular stimulant, a vasodilator and a diuretic.
Side Effects From Theobromine
All chocolate products contain a small amount of theobromine, while dark chocolate products contain larger quantities–this dose is regarded as safe for all human beings. The side effects of theobromine are relatively mild; however it is important to note that theobromine can be potentially harmful if an excessive amount is ingested. Even though theobromine and caffeine are related to each other since they have similar structures and are both alkaloids, the effects they produce are dissimilar.
Theobromine has a similar effect to caffeine in your body, but this is significantly weaker in contrast to caffeine. Furthermore, in contrast to caffeine, theobromine does not have a great effect on the human central nervous system. It is capable of producing a stimulating and relaxing effect for the heart, and is able to reduce the blood pressure due its ability to dilate blood vessels. Since theobromine is a heart stimulant and dilates blood vessels, studies have shown that this compound is an essential source that can be used in the treatment of heart failure.
The Effect of Theobromine in Animals
Theobromine poisoning is a common side effect that occurs in animals. The main reason why animals are more susceptible to theobromine poisoning than humans is because of their inability to process theobromine at a fast rate when ingested. Dogs, for instance, that slowly metabolize 50 grams of theobromine arer usually affected, as well as cats and other pets. Because of this dangerous side effect, it is important to take caution and prevent animals from ingesting chocolate products that can jeopardize their health. Contrary to the health benefits that occur in human beings who use theobromine, a toxic effect is very harmful, and in some cases even deadly to smaller animals. Certain issues that result from theobromine poisoning in animals will often consist of indigestion, seizures, heart failure and death.