The following is a summary of the “Association between dietary theobromine with depression: a population-based study” published in the December 2022 issue of Psychiatry by Li et al.


The objective of this study is to determine whether or not there is a connection between the amount of theobromine consumed through diet and the presence of depressive symptoms. The responses of 3,637 individuals who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2017–2018 were used to compile these results. First, it was calculated how much theobromine each participant consumed on a daily basis by using a 24-hour food questionnaire from the 2017–2018 cycle. 

On the Patient Health Questionnaire, a score of 5 or higher indicated the presence of depression. Using a multivariate logistic regression and making adjustments for many pertinent sociodemographic, lifestyle, and health-related characteristics, researchers investigated whether or not there was an association between theobromine consumption and depression. A total of 6,903 people took part in the research study. 

The findings of a multivariate logistic regression revealed a link between the presence of depressive symptoms and the use of theobromine (OR:1.17, 95% CI:1.02–1.34). According of their population-based cross-sectional investigation, an increasing intake of theobromine is connected with an increased risk of developing depression. Nevertheless, in order to corroborate their findings, investigators need to do additional research.

Source: bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-022-04415-y