Anxiolytic effects of short- and long-term administration of cacao mass on rat elevated T-maze test
Yamada T, Yamada Y, Okano Y, Terashima T, Yokogoshi H.
Laboratory of Nutritional Biochemistry,
Graduate School of Nutritional and Environmental Sciences,
University of Shizuoka,
Shizuoka 422-8526, Japan.
J Nutr Biochem. 2008 Oct 29.


We demonstrated the effects of short- and long-term administration of cacao mass on anxiety in the elevated T-maze test, which is an animal model of anxiety. In the first study, we administered cacao mass (100 mg/100 g body weight) per os and immediately performed the elevated T-maze test. Short-term cacao mass significantly abolished delayed avoidance latency compared with the control but did not change escape latency. This result suggested that cacao mass administration reduced conditional fear-relating behavior. Short-term cacao mass administration did not affect the concentration of brain monoamines, emotion-related neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine, in the rat brain. In the next study, we fed a cacao mass-containing diet to rats for 2 weeks and performed the elevated T-maze test. Contrary to short-term administration, chronic consumption of cacao mass tended to increase avoidance latency and did not change escape latency. Brain serotonin concentration and its turnover were enhanced by chronic consumption of cacao mass. These results suggested that chronic consumption of cacao did not affect fear-related behavior but was involved in brain monoamine metabolism. In conclusion, we suggest that short-term cacao mass consumption showed an anxiolytic effect but chronic consumption did not.

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