What Is Theobromine?

Theobromine, a natural substance also known as xantheose, is an ingredient sometimes found in diet pills and fitness supplements. It is obtained from the cacao plant.  This means that the bitter alkaloid that helps many dieters with their strategies to reach their goals is actually often obtained from the same plant used to make chocolate.

Interestingly, despite its name, it does not contain bromine.  Instead, the reason it is called theobromine is that its roots are Greek.  The plant genus from which it is most commonly derived is called Theobroma, from “theo” which means “god” and “broma” which means “food.” After all, cocoa and chocolate are often known as being the food of the gods!  The “ine” suffix is assigned to nitrogen containing compounds such as alkaloids.

How Is Theobromine Used For Weight Loss?

This substance is categorized in the zanthine alkaloid group.  The reason is that it is not too dissimilar to other naturally occuring chemical compounds such as caffeine or theophylline.  Though not identical to caffeine, it can also have a kind of stimulant effect in the body.  That said, this ingredient is not considered to be as powerful a stimulant as caffeine.

Many people sensitive to stimulants appreciate that because they can still benefit from the stimulant effects without as much of a chance of triggering their sensitivities.  Others find that they can obtain a stimulant effect without experiencing spikes and crashes in their energy levels.  Moreover, this ingredient is also believed to have certain appetite suppressing properties.  These properties can all be helpful to dieters seeking to lose weight by reducing their caloric intake and boosting their daily activity levels.

Theobromine Studies and Research

A study published in the Phychopharmacology journal described the use of this ingredient when compared to a placebo and when combined with the use of caffeine.  A great deal of research into theobromine involves its combination with caffeine as the two substances have been found to function effectively together to produce desirable results.

In this case, researchers determined that when compared to a placebo group, users of this ingredient and caffeine experienced a spectrum of effects that could be considered quite helpful to dieters.  This research required participants to take their supplements (half in a placebo group half in the theobromine and caffeine group) on a daily basis.  The study included two separate and consecutive experiments using the same daily substances.

The findings suggested that this stimulant combination produced effects such as improved energy, overall wellbeing, social disposition, and alertness, in both group and individual ratings. These types of effects can be very helpful to people who are trying to keep up their motivation in order to adhere to an overall healthy lifestyle conducive to a steady rate of weight loss.

*  Mumford, G., Evans, S., Kaminski, B., Preston, K, Sannerud, C., Silverman, K., Griffiths, R. “Discriminative stimulus and subjective effects of theobromine and caffeine in humans”. Phychopharmacology. June 1994. Volume 115, Issue 1-2, pages 1-8.

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