Intended for healthcare professionals


Chocolate poisoning

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 15 September 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:633
  1. Fiona Finlay, consultant community paediatrician (,
  2. Simon Guiton, veterinary surgeon
  1. Child Health Department, Bath NHS House, Bath, 12 Raby Place, Bath

    Readers may be intrigued to know that “man's best friend” may be at risk from one of our favourite treats—chocolate. The potential hazards to humans of eating too much chocolate are well known (obesity and dental caries to name but two), but you may be unaware that chocolate is potentially lethal to dogs.

    Chocolate is derived from the roasted seeds of the plant Theobroma cacao, and the main toxic components are the methylxanthine alkaloids theobromine and caffeine. Humans can easily digest and excrete methylxanthines, …

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