Can you die with chocolate? Respond scientists
There are wonderful things in the world that kill us. Of course, figuratively speaking. The most obvious example is love, if it is unrequited or toxic . But how in this sense are things with sweets? We have already told you at what amount of alcohol begins to kill us . And they called five products at once , from which, with excessive consumption, an “overdose” could happen to a person. The next question is no less important: can you die if you eat too much chocolate? The answer is in this material.
“Of course, there is a certain toxic dose of chocolate that can be deadly,” says Popular Science Reed Caldwell of New York University. “However, if someone tries to commit suicide in this sweet way, he will most likely end up in the emergency department with a stomach disorder before chocolate poisoning happens.”
But why in general can chocolate cause poisoning? The fact is that cocoa beans, of which chocolate bars, bars and sweets make, contain theobromine, an alkaloid with a bitter taste. For a person, theobromine at best becomes a mild stimulant acting like caffeine . But it is also a vasodilator that can open blood vessels and cause a drop in blood pressure, and at the same time – a diuretic.
And yes, at fairly high levels, theobromine can be toxic to humans (and at much lower levels for dogs). The combination of his ability to vasodilatation (relaxation of smooth muscles in the walls of blood vessels), a diuretic and mild irritant effect for the gastrointestinal tract suggests that potentially theobromine can trigger a rapid heart rate, loss of appetite, sweating, trembling in the muscles and severe headache . And because of the influence on the cardiovascular system, including lowering blood pressure and increasing the heart rate, excessive theobromine can be fatal.
However, Reed Caldwell says that this happens very rarely. First, you need to eat too much chocolate for this. Secondly, indigestion, most likely, will prevent it. “The first symptoms of overeating in the case of chocolate are nausea and vomiting,” the expert explains. “And this will help to prevent the consumption of a deadly quantity of sweets by man.”
But “too much” is how much? There is evidence that for a person theobromine becomes toxic at a dose of 1000 mg per kilogram of body weight. At this point, you reach a level that toxicologists call LD50 – the moment when 50% of the subjects show symptoms of poisoning. So, if a person weighs 75 kilograms, he will have to eat 75,000 theobromine to achieve this level of toxicity. And this, meanwhile, 711 chocolate bars, 332 chocolate bars or 7 084 chocolate candies.
It is important to take into account the fact that different types of chocolate contain unequal amounts of theobromine. Milk chocolate contains much less than bitter , and handmade chocolates are somewhat larger than sweets from the box.
In other words, it can not be said that death from excessive amounts of chocolate is impossible. However, Caldwell admits that he never met the theobromine poisoning case during the years of his practice and did not hear anything like this from his colleagues. And this, you must agree, says a lot.