Phillip Minton M.D.

Chocolate Allergies

In allergies, chocolate on June 21, 2011 at 10:21 am

Are you allergic to chocolate? If you think so, you need to look into it, because it is very rare to be allergic to the main ingredient in healthy chocolate – the cocoa powder itself. Much more commonly, people are actually allergic to additives to the cocoa such as dairy, emulsifiers and nuts.

Those suffering multiple nut allergies will be comforted to know that cocoa does not come from a nut, but rather the fruit of the cacao tree (theobroma cacao). To be allergic to either the oil of this tree’s fruit, or the cocoa powder made from it, is indeed rare.

However, you may want to ask your doctor if the symptoms you have when eating chocolate really are allergic at all. They may instead simply be manifestations of some of the stimulants naturally found in cocoa. Caffeine and theobromine, two of these stimulants, can cause symptoms to those who are sensitive, especially when additive to the caffeine on coffee or certain medications.

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