How much chocolate should you eat to die?
How much chocolate should you eat to die?

Did you know that the common foods we consume on a daily basis can endanger our lives if we eat or drink them in excessive amounts? Yes, a person can overdose on “ordinary” things, such as water, coffee, sugar, bananas, or even chocolate. Have you ever wondered how much chocolate should you eat to die?

It is almost impossible for an average person to die from consuming too much chocolate. Certainly, there is a toxic dose of chocolate and it can be fatal. But you are more likely to end up in the emergency room with serious stomach problems, nausea, and vomiting than with poisoning if you eat too much chocolate.

What chocolate ingredient makes it lethal?

The cocoa tree and grain from which chocolate is made contain a substance called theobromine, which is a plant alkaloid, slightly bitter in taste (other plant alkaloids are caffeine, cocaine, nicotine, the chemotherapy drug vincristine). In the human body, theobromine is a mild stimulant that behaves similarly to caffeine. It is a vasodilator, which means it dilates blood vessels and causes a drop in pressure. It is a diuretic, so don’t be surprised if you have to urinate more often after consuming chocolate.

High doses of theobromine can be toxic. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, theobromine crosses the blood-brain barrier, a semipermeable capillary membrane that allows only certain substances to reach the brain. This suggests that theobromine has a similar effect on mood as caffeine.

High doses of theobromine can be toxic to humans (and in much lower doses to dogs). The combination of blood vessel dilating properties, diuretics and can upset the gastrointestinal tract, which means that in very high doses theobromine can speed up the heartbeat, cause loss of appetite, sweating, shivering, and severe headaches.

Due to its effects on the cardiovascular system, which includes a drop in pressure and a faster heart rate, too much theobromine can theoretically be fatal. But that would be extremely rare. Initial symptoms of poisoning that prevent people from consuming a lethal dose would begin first.

How much chocolate should you eat to die?

For humans, theobromine is considered toxic at a dose of 1000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight or 500 milligrams per pound. If the average person weighs 75 kg (165 pounds), to reach the level of toxicity for theobromine, one should eat 75,000 milligrams.

That means that the answer to the question “How much chocolate should you eat to die?” is that an average person should eat 85 full-size chocolate bars to die. Yes, that’s right, that’s 8.5 kilograms or 19 pounds of chocolate!

Does every type of chocolate can cause death?

Different types of chocolate contain different doses of theobromine. Milk chocolate has it much less than dark chocolate. Milk chocolates have 2.4 milligrams per gram of chocolate. Dark chocolate contains 5.5 milligrams per gram. And chocolate that is used for cooking and baking contains 16 milligrams per gram. That would mean we have to eat about 300 milk chocolates to get poisoned.

Dying from an overdose of chocolate is not the most incredible thing, but doctors say they have not come across such a case in their practice. So if you don’t really want to be poisoned by chocolate, chances are you’ll never be able to eat enough to overdose on theobromine. Still, imagine what sweet, sweet death would that be!