Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Compounds Also Present In Alcoholic Beverages May Explain Chocolate Cravings

Date:
November 1, 2000
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
A Spanish researcher has a new clue to what motivates "chocoholics": a group of chemicals that might contribute to the good feelings associated with binging on the tasty treat. The researchers are the first to find that ordinary cocoa and chocolate bars contain a group of alkaloids known as tetrahydro-beta-carbolines.

A Spanish researcher has a new clue to what motivates "chocoholics": a group of chemicals that might contribute to the good feelings associated with binging on the tasty treat. The finding is reported in the current (October 16) issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a monthly peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

Related Articles


The researchers are the first to find that ordinary cocoa and chocolate bars contain a group of alkaloids known as tetrahydro-beta-carbolines, according to Tomas Herraiz, a researcher at the Spanish Council for Scientific Research in Madrid, Spain. In previous research, the same chemicals were linked to alcoholism, he said. The family of compounds, which are also known as neuroactive alkaloids, continues to be investigated for possible influences on mood and behavior.

The same chemicals discovered in chocolate are found in wine, beer and liquor, though no connection has been established between compulsive drinking and food addiction, Herraiz said. The combination of the newfound compounds and other chemicals in chocolate could help explain chocolate cravings, he said.

Unique properties of chocolate - including its combination of sugar, fat and flavors - are believed to contribute to its appeal. Some go so far as to call chocolate an addictive food. Scientists cannot explain cravings for the so-called "food of the Gods," nor determine whether it exists.

"Finding these active substances, combined with the known pleasurable effects of eating chocolate, may complete the whole picture of chocolate craving," Herraiz said.

Up to seven micrograms of the compounds were found per gram of chocolate, Herraiz said. The compounds are found in low concentrations in chocolate and are also found in foods that are not addictive. This suggests that they alone may not be responsible for chocolate cravings, he noted.

"Other active substances in chocolate, like caffeine and magnesium, are often suggested as potential contributors to craving," Herraiz said. "Now we can enlarge this list to include [these compounds]."

Higher levels of the compounds seem to correlate with the amount of cocoa in a sample, he reported. The darker the chocolate, the more of the compounds it contains, the researchers found.

The research cited above was funded by a grant from the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Spanish government. It is part of an ongoing study to investigate neuroactive alkaloids in foods and alcoholic beverages.

Tomas Herraiz, Ph.D., is a researcher at the Institute of Industrial Fermentation at the Spanish Council for Scientific Research in Madrid, Spain.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Compounds Also Present In Alcoholic Beverages May Explain Chocolate Cravings." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 November 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001101065559.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2000, November 1). Compounds Also Present In Alcoholic Beverages May Explain Chocolate Cravings. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001101065559.htm
American Chemical Society. "Compounds Also Present In Alcoholic Beverages May Explain Chocolate Cravings." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001101065559.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) You've probably seen some weird-looking dinosaurs, but have you ever seen one this weird? It's worth a look. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins