- freely available
Health Benefits of Methylxanthines in Cacao and Chocolate
AbstractOne may wonder why methylxanthines are so abundant in beverages used by humans for centuries, or in cola-drinks that have been heavily consumed since their appearance. It is likely that humans have stuck to any brew containing compounds with psychoactive properties, resulting in a better daily life, i.e., more efficient thinking, exploring, hunting, etc., however, without the serious side effects of drugs of abuse. The physiological effects of methylxanthines have been known for a long time and they are mainly mediated by the so-called adenosine receptors. Caffeine and theobromine are the most abundant methylxanthines in cacao and their physiological effects are notable. Their health-promoting benefits are so remarkable that chocolate is explored as a functional food. The consequences of adenosine receptor blockade by natural compounds present in cacao/chocolate are here reviewed. Palatability and health benefits of methylxanthines, in general, and theobromine, in particular, have further contributed to sustain one of the most innocuous and pleasant habits: chocolate consumption.
Share & Cite This Article
Franco, R.; Oñatibia-Astibia, A.; Martínez-Pinilla, E. Health Benefits of Methylxanthines in Cacao and Chocolate. Nutrients 2013, 5, 4159-4173.View more citation formats
Franco R, Oñatibia-Astibia A, Martínez-Pinilla E. Health Benefits of Methylxanthines in Cacao and Chocolate. Nutrients. 2013; 5(10):4159-4173.Chicago/Turabian Style
Franco, Rafael; Oñatibia-Astibia, Ainhoa; Martínez-Pinilla, Eva. 2013. "Health Benefits of Methylxanthines in Cacao and Chocolate." Nutrients 5, no. 10: 4159-4173.