• Name: theobromine
  • Description: Theobromine, or 3,7-Dimethylxanthine, is the principle alkaloid in Theobroma cacao (the cacao bean) and other plants. A xanthine alkaloid that is used as a bronchodilator and as a vasodilator. It h... as a weaker diuretic activity than theophylline and is also a less powerful stimulant of smooth muscle. It has practically no stimulant effect on the central nervous system. It was formerly used as a diuretic and in the treatment of angina pectoris and hypertension. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, pp1318-9, as cited on Pubchem). Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid of the methylxanthine family, which also includes the similar compounds theophylline and caffeine. Despite its name, the compound contains no bromine. Theobromine is derived from Theobroma, the genus of the cacao tree, which is composed of the Greek roots theo ("God") and broma ("food"), meaning "food of the gods". It is the primary alkaloid found in cocoa and chocolate, and is one of the causes for chocolate's mood-elevating effects. The amount found in chocolate is small enough that chocolate can be safely consumed by humans in large quantities, but animals that metabolize theobromine more slowly, such as cats and dogs, can easily consume enough chocolate to cause chocolate poisoning. Theobromine is a stimulant frequently confused with caffeine. Theobromine has very different effects on the human body from caffeine; it is a mild, lasting stimulant with a mood improving effect, whereas caffeine has a strong, immediate effect and increases stress. In medicine, it is used as a diuretic, vasodilator, and myocardial stimulant. There is a possible association between prostate cancer and theobromine. Theobromine is a contributing factor in acid reflux because it relaxes the esophageal sphincter muscle, allowing stomach acid access to the esophagus (Wikipedia)
Overview of age-variations
Age group comparisons
PMID Age/Age interval, Gender Value (unit of measurement) Method Sample
18384253 Age 24.5 ± 3, Gender ⚥ 0.69 (mean value of the compound area) LC-MS; GC-MS plasma
18384253 Age 40.8 ± 5.6, Gender ⚥ 0.73 (mean value of the compound area) LC-MS; GC-MS plasma
18384253 Age 55.6 ± 3.7, Gender ⚥ 1.0 (mean value of the compound area) LC-MS; GC-MS plasma
Linear regression
PMID Age/Age interval, Gender Value (unit of measurement) Method Sample
log2 ratio/log2(FC)
PMID Age/Age interval, Gender Value (unit of measurement) Method Sample
  • Chemical Formula:
  • Exact Mass g/mol:
  • Systematic name:
  • InChI:
  • InChI Key:
  • CAS number:
Related resources
Pathway info P = product of S = substrate of
Metabolite sources and localization
  • Metabolite location:
    Human organism, Body part, Human body biofluids, Biofluid tissues, Blood, Plasma, Cerebrospinal fluid, Saliva, Urine, Organ, Kidney, Liver, Tissue, Cellular (general class), Subcellular, Cytoplasm, Excreta material, Feces
  • Metabolite source:
    Homo sapiens, exogenous metabolite
Age group comparisons
Method: LC-MS; GC-MS
Sample: plasma
PubMed PMID: 18384253