Natural Standard® Patient Monograph, Copyright © 2013 (www.naturalstandard.com). All Rights Reserved. Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.
Cocoa and chocolate are derived from the cacao bean ( Theobroma cacao ). Cacao is native to South America and has been grown in the tropics for at least 3,000 years. Today, the African country Ivory Coast is the largest supplier of raw cocoa.
Cocoa products have been considered delicacies by many cultures. Cocoa products have recently been recognized as a significant source of a number of compounds, such as flavonoids, that may have valuable health benefits. For this reason, and because it is so popular, chocolate is the focus of intense research.
Chocolate has been studied to investigate its effectiveness in the treatment of a variety of conditions, including heart disease, skin conditions, and constipation. However, there is a lack of studies to support the use of chocolate to treat any conditions in humans.