Theobromine: effects on postprandial metabolism, vascular function and intestinal gene expression in humans

Lotte Smolders

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Cocoa consumption is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). This beneficial effect may be due to the cocoa compound theobromine. One-time consumption of theobromine showed no beneficial health effects but it did show unfavourably effects on blood insulin levels. Four-week theobromine consumption resulted in a reduction of fasting levels of bad cholesterol, and showed unfavourable effects on postprandial glucose and insulin responses. Theobromine showed no beneficial effects on postprandial fat and cholesterol levels in blood, nor on blood vessel function.
Therefore, increased theobromine consumption is unlikely to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Theobromine combined with other cocoa compounds or consumed by different population groups might have beneficial health effects. However, further research is needed to explore this.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Plat, Jogchum, Supervisor
  • Mensink, Ronald, Supervisor
Award date6 Jul 2017
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs978-94-6233-647-6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • cardiovascular disease
  • cocoa
  • theobromine

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