Health effects of chocolate

Health effects of chocolate include both positive and negative effects. While chocolate is regularly eaten for pleasure, there are potential beneficial health effects of eating chocolate. Cocoa or dark chocolate benefits the circulatory system.[1] Other beneficial effects suggested include anticancer, brain stimulator, cough preventer, reduced risk of heart disease[2] and antidiarrhoeal effects.[3][not in citation given] That chocolate has an aphrodisiac effect is yet to be a well supported claim.

On the other hand, the unconstrained consumption of large quantities of any energy-rich food such as chocolate is thought to increase the risk of obesity without a corresponding increase in activity. Raw chocolate is high in cocoa butter, a fat which is removed during chocolate refining, then added back in at varying proportions during the manufacturing process. Manufacturers may add other fats, sugars, and milk as well, all of which increase the caloric content of chocolate.

Chocolate absorbs lead from the environment during production and there is concern of mild lead poisoning for some types of chocolate. Additionally, chocolate is toxic to many animals because of insufficient capacity to metabolize theobromine.[4]

A study reported by the BBC indicated that melting chocolate in one's mouth produced an increase in brain activity and heart rate that was more intense than that associated with passionate kissing, and also lasted four times as long after the activity had ended.[5] Cocoa products also contain pharmacological substances such as n-arclethanolamines that are related to cannabis.[citation needed] When drugs are used to block the brain's opiate receptors,the desire for chocolate disappears, confirming the addictive nature of these types of foods.

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