Theobromine

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theobromine

[‚thē·ə′brō‚mēn]
(organic chemistry)
C7H8N4O2 A toxic alkaloid found in cocoa, chocolate products, tea, and cola nuts; closely related to caffeine.

Theobromine

 

(3, 7-dimethylxanthine), an alkaloid of the purine group.

Theobromine is found in the beans of the cacao (Theobromacacao), where its content reaches 1.8 percent. It is a colorless crystalline substance with a bitter taste and only slight solubility in water. Theobromine is a spasmolytic and smooth muscle relaxant. It is used in medicine in cases of spasm of the blood vessels of the heart and brain, and also as a diuretic. Theobromine differs from caffeine, to which it is closely related in structure, in that its effect on the central nervous system is substantially less marked. Theobromine is obtained from cacao beans or is synthesized chemically. It is a constituent of Teofedrin and other compound preparations.