Eating too much chocolate can cause migraines

The relationship between one of the tastiest foods and one of the most annoying health problems has led researchers to surprising conclusions

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Eating too much chocolate can cause migraines
© Bruno Vincent / Staff Getty Images

Cocoa is the food richest in theobromine, an isomer of theophylline, which is a powerful inhibitor of phosphodiesterase, like some drugs used in cases of acute heart failure, under medical supervision because these patients have a frequency of cardiac arrhythmias. According to Roberto Corti of the University of Zurich, dark chocolate can delay the hardening of the arteries in those who smoke, limiting the risk of even serious heart disease. The study was published in the journal Heart.

But eating too much chocolate, it seems, can have particular effects on our health. Also negative, as it is associated with the onset of migraines.

Chocolate© Stephen Chernin / Stringer Getty Images

The study To Eat or Not to Eat: A Review of the Relationship between Chocolate and Migraines, published in the Nutrients, shares an interesting retrospective on the topic.

The researchers, in the article's abstract, explained: "Migraine is a chronic disorder with episodic attacks, and migraine patients often report that certain factors can trigger their headaches, with chocolate being the type more popular than food-based triggers. Many studies have suggested a link between chocolate and headaches; however, the underlying physiological mechanisms are unclear since warning symptoms can herald migraine attacks, the question of whether to eat chocolate before the headache arises. in your head is a consequence of a food craving or even a real trigger.

Here, we aim to summarize the available evidence on the relationship between chocolate and migraines. All articles relating to this topic published up to January 2020 were retrieved by searching in clinical databases, including EMBASE, MEDLINE, PubMed, and Google Scholar Included here, we identify 25 studies investigating the prevalence of chocolate as a trigger in migraineurs. Three provocative studies also looked at whether chocolate can trigger migraine attacks, comparing it to a placebo.

Among them, in 23 studies, chocolate was found to be a migraine trigger in a small percentage of participants (1.3 to 33), while all provocative studies failed to find significant differences between migraine attacks induced by the consumption of chocolate and a placebo. Overall, based on our review of the current literature, there is insufficient evidence that chocolate is a migraine trigger; therefore, physicians should not make implicit recommendations to migraine patients to avoid it."