Chocolate – poisonous, toxic; a good or bad food?
Chocolate, cocoa powder, raw cocoa powder, drinking chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, whichever type you choose, all contain two nasty toxins. One is theobromine and the other is phytic acid. Even white chocolate which only contains the cocoa fat and milk will have some theobromine although no phytic acid.
Is a chemical found in chocolate that is poisonous and in enough amounts can kill dogs. Theobromine interferes with the action of adenosine in the human body. Every cell in the body uses adenosine made from the hormone adenine, which is produced in the body by prostaglandins the precursors to hormones.
(By the way refined, hydrolysed vegetable fats, oils, soya and margarines interfere with the action of prostaglandins causing hormonal imbalances in the body. If the chocolate you have contains these then you have more toxins causing problems)
Adenosine is used in the body to transfer energy.
When the muscles are required for work, adenosine dilates vessels in the heart and muscles which brings more blood (and nutrients) to the muscles and heart so that the work that is required can take place. At the same time adenosine also reduces the blood flow to the lungs, kidneys and liver.
The action of adenosine is to allow the muscles and heart to utilise the energy and nutrients they must have so that they can work. Adenosine also reduces the blood supply to the kidneys, lungs and liver and this is why athletes do not need to visit the loo during their work-outs or sport. This is also why work should include rests so that the lungs, liver and kidneys can get rid of the waste.
Adenosine is also used by the brain to aid sleep and theobromine in disabling adenosine will cause the body to remain awake.
However some report the action of theobromine on adenosine as good because theobromine interferes with adenosine. Adenosine binds to dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter and sends signals to the nerves and is lacking in those with parkinson’s disease. Theobromine in stopping adenosine inadvertently releases more dopamine a brain chemical that sends signals to the nerve endings, therefore theobromine may be helpful in Parkinsons Disease.
Remember though that theobromine because of its action on adenosine will also interfere with the dilation of blood vessels to the heart and muscles and will keep you awake at night, which to my ears sounds like a tragedy waiting to happen.
The body makes adenosine for a reason and the use of it in the body is controlled by the brain and other hormones provided that the right foods are being consumed for the body to make hormones. The body does not make theobromine and adding this to the diet because of hoped for benefits in a disease would be to interfere with all the workings of the body.
Chocolate also contains caffeine causing the products made with cocoa powder and its fat to be addictive. This then will encourage more theobromine in the body. A tiny little on odd occasions in healthy individuals will probably do no harm but why eat known toxins?
The effect of theobromine and caffeine cause an even bigger adverse effect on the kidneys. Theobromine stops adenosine constricting the vessels to the kidneys so you may find yourself passing urine more often. Caffeine interferes with the anti-diuretic hormone again causing a need to visit the toilet more. This then over-taxes the kidneys which can cause kidney disease but this also flushes out more of the many essential, life giving minerals.
Human beings cannot break down phytic acid unless they have phytase an enzyme in their gut to do this work. There is an exception as Sally Fallon of the Weston A Price foundation explains:
“In general, humans do not produce enough phytase to safely consume large quantities of high-phytate foods on a regular basis. However, probiotic lactobacilli, and other species of the endogenous digestive microflora can produce phytase. Thus, humans who have good intestinal flora will have an easier time with foods containing phytic acid. Increased production of phytase by the gut microflora explains why some volunteers can adjust to a high-phytate diet. Sprouting activates phytase, thus reducing phytic acid. The use of sprouted grains will reduce the quantity of phytic acids in animal feed, with no significant reduction of nutritional value.”
In the past the phytic acid found in the outer fibre of grains was always broken down by fermentation to avoid the effects of incomplete digestion which causes the symptoms of: indigestion, bloating, abdominal pain, robbing the gut of calcium, constipation, diarrhoea, IBS and poor nutrient absorption. Fermenting the grains, seeds, pulses and nuts reduced the impact on the gut flora and aided the proliferation of gut bacteria. The soluble fibre (sugars) in the grain were then available for nutrient absorption and feeding the gut flora.
The grain for animals was always steeped in boiling water first. I can remember in the 60s/70s feeding chickens with grain that had been steeped in boiling water for 30 mins, it was considered essential. My mother would always tell me not to eat raw pastry when I was helping her cook, because it was ‘bad’ for you.
These considerations are totally ignored and forgotten today mainly because of manufactural production methods always looking at ways to reduce the time in manufacturing their products. It takes time to ferment grains but once the process is started and a routine established, it is far less time consuming and then makes grains, nuts, seeds and pulses healthy and full of the nutrients the gut and therefore the body need.
What adenosine does in exercise
The role of Adenosine
What makes you sleep?
Living with Phytic Acid
History of the food of the gods