Is chocolate really the love drug?

Despite the insistences of (mostly female) chocoholics, all clinical evidence points to no, Reader Connie. I’ve done my best to debunk the purported effects of chocolate’s trace components here, here, here, here and here. Of course all that’s done is earn me a reputation for being no fun. There are hundreds, thousands of pop journalism pieces out there that imply the contrary of course, though if you read carefully they’re always peppered with escape-hatch words like “may”, “could” and “might.”

The truth is that it isn’t the consumption of chocolate that has addictive effects. If it were, people who swallow tasteless, odorless cocoa powder capsules should notice a drop-off in their chocolate cravings. But they don’t. It seems that it’s the act of eating bar or candy chocolate that people find so addictive.

Here I don’t take such a hard line, since chocolate really does offer a sensory experience that’s unique. It’s unusually complex both in flavor an aroma, and its physical properties are singular: firm but yielding at room temperature, silky and flowing in the mouth. So while it’s beyond rational dispute that chocolate has no physically, chemically addictive properties, it seems at least plausible that on the level of pure sensation human beings can be come chronically desirous of it.

2 thoughts on “Is chocolate really the love drug?”

    1. As far as I know prolamins are mostly found in grains. Prolamins are a whole big family of proteins. Some of them might have antidepressant properties, I’m not really sure. However I’m willing to bet that if there are any of these particular prolamins in chocolate they’re only present in teeny tiny amounts.

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