Is it possible for anyone to actually die from a chocolate overdose?

If you happen to be health conscious and a chocoholic at the same time then the thought of dying from overdose of chocolate must have come to your mind more than once. However, that is pretty unlikely to happen because of the basic two reasons; chocolate is not really that harmful altogether and even if it is, you will have to eat an impossible amount of chocolates to actually suffer from the toxic consequences of chocolate.

Let’s get to the nitty gritty of these reasons now.

If there is anything that can be toxic about the chocolate is the natural plant alkaloid ‘theobromine‘ found in  cocoa beans, from which chocolate is made. Theobromine is bitter in taste and acts mildly like caffeine in the body. It’s the same compound that gives dark chocolate its unique flavor. Theobromine makes chocolates vasodilator (blood pressure drop) and diuretic (excessive urination) in nature. So, the most that chocolate can harm you is cause pressure drop of blood in the vessels, cause you to urinate more and the rest of the symptoms which include rapid heart rate, loss of appetite, sweating, trembling, and a severe headache, would follow. Due to the extreme blood pressure drop, one can possibly die however, Reed Caldwell, an emergency medicine physician at New York University Langone Medical Center believes that this stage would not be reached by anyone in a realistic scenario since the upset stomach would discourage the person from having any more chocolate at that point.

So, it is a bit of shock to find out that chocolates can be fatal but how much would you really need to eat before it can kill you? Well, 711 regular-sized Hershey’s milk chocolate bars or, 7,084 Hershey chocolate kisses or, 332 standard-sized Hershey’s dark chocolate bars, to be precise. Yes, that many!

According to the researchers, one needs to consume a dose of 1,000 milligrams of theobromine per kilogram of body weight in order to reach the LD50 level that is, the amount of dosage that can potentially cause illness to 50% of the population. This ultimately concludes that if a person is 75 kg, 75,000 milligrams of theobromine would be required for you to die from chocolate. The precise number of chocolates needed to reach this level if you weigh 75 kg comes from the calculation, that on average milk chocolates contain about 2.4 milligrams of theobromine per gram of chocolate while dark chocolates contain 5.5 milligrams of it per gram.

We’re sure that no matter how much you love chocolate, you would never be able to consume this much amount so for now, all you need to know is that being a chocoholic won’t be the reason for your death.

Source: Popular Science

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