Cocoa Powder Side Effects

Cocoa Powder can be used in baking applications to make chocolate, desserts, drinks, confectionery and ice-cream products. Though it’s considered safe, some are convinced it has potentially dangerous health effects.

What Is Cocoa Powder?

Cocoa Powder is a free flowing brown powder which is obtained from cocoa solids, one of the two components of chocolate liquor. Chocolate liquor is a substance which is obtained during the manufacturing process which turns cocoa beans into chocolate products. This product has a fat content of 10%-12%. Cocoa Powder can be added to baked goods for a chocolate flavor, whisked with hot milk or water for hot chocolate, and used in a variety of other ways.

Possible Side Effects of Cocoa Powder

Though Cocoa Powder is regarded as safe supplement, there maybe some side effects:

Anxiety: There is the concern that caffeine in the large amounts of cocoa may make the anxiety disorders worse.

Diabetes: Cocoa appears to raise the blood sugar levels as well as may interfere with the blood sugar control in the people having diabetes.

Diarrhea: Cocoa has caffeine and caffeine in cocoa, particularly when taken in the large amounts, will worsen diarrhea.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Cocoa appears to hinder effectiveness of valve in food tube, which keeps contents of stomach to come back in food tube or airway. This can make symptoms of the GERD worse.

Migraine headaches: Cocoa may trigger the migraines in many sensitive people.

Irritable bowel syndrome: Cocoa has caffeine. Caffeine in cocoa, particularly when taken in the large amounts, will worsen diarrhea & may worsen the symptoms of IBS.

Surgery: Cocoa may interfere with the blood sugar control during surgical procedures.

GRAS Affirmation: Yes

Generally recognized as safe (GRAS) is an American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designation that a chemical or substance added to food is considered safe by experts, and so is exempted from the usual Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) food additive tolerance requirements. Cocoa Powder is considered safe.

Suggested Dosage


Special Populations Precaution

There is a lot of concern about diet and nutrition for these population, like Newborns, children, pregnant, sensitive to Cocoa Powder populations. Better consult to your doctor if you would like to intake Cocoa Powder.

Related Research

1. Microbiota of cocoa powder with particular reference to aerobic thermoresistant spore-formers. [Food Microbiol. 2011 May] Author: Lima LJ, Kamphuis HJ, Nout MJ, Zwietering MH.

2. A new process to develop a cocoa powder with higher flavonoid monomer content and enhanced bioavailability in healthy humans. [J Agric Food Chem. 2007 May 16] Author: Tomas-Barberan FA, Cienfuegos-Jovellanos E, Marín A, Muguerza B, Gil-Izquierdo A, Cerda B, Zafrilla P, Morillas J, Mulero J, Ibarra A, Pasamar MA, Ramón D, Espín JC.

3. Flavan-3-ol fraction from cocoa powder promotes mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle in mice. [Lipids Health Dis. 2014 Apr 5] Author: Watanabe N, Inagawa K, Shibata M, Osakabe N.

4. Tolerance for high flavanol cocoa powder in semisweet chocolate. [Nutrients. 2013 Jun 21] Author: Harwood ML, Ziegler GR, Hayes JE.

5. Cocoa powder extracts exhibits hypolipidemic potential in cholesterol-fed rats. [Afr J Med Med Sci. 2012 Dec] Author: Nwichi SO, Adewole EK, Dada AO, Ogidiama O, Mokobia OE, Farombi EO.

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