The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.
Avoid with known allergy or hypersensitivity to chocolate, cocoa, any of its components (including caffeine), or members of the Sterculiaceae family. Migraine headaches and eczema have been reported.
Side Effects and Warnings
General: Some side effects and warnings are based on the relatively high levels of caffeine in chocolate.
Use with caution in patients with addictive tendencies, anemia, cardiovascular disease, endocrine disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, nervous disorders, respiratory disorders, and skin disorders. Use with caution in patients prone to migraine headaches or kidney stones. Use with caution in patients who are overweight or obese and in those trying to become pregnant.
Use with caution in patients using agents that affect the cardiovascular system, antimicrobials, ergot derivatives, painkillers, birth control pills, and stimulants.
Use cautiously in children, due to the risk of developing habits that could lead to obesity and poor health.
Chocolate may raise blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, and medication adjustments may be necessary.
Chocolate may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or those taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
Chocolate may increase blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients with high blood pressure and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood pressure.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Use with caution and avoid excessive doses of chocolate during pregnancy and breastfeeding, due to the relatively high level of caffeine in chocolate. Chocolate also contains two compounds that may cause birth defects.