Death by chocolate

How much chocolate should an average human eat to die? I am pretty sure that there is (unfortunately) a limit, be it because of the sugar, fat or cocoa beans…

I don’t know but if I am ever on death row I will try to find out.

CaffieneInformer has a Death By Caffeine calculator.

For me, it’s 1402.92 Hershey bars or 2525.25 glasses of chocolate milk.

965 Dark Chocolates (ghirardelli)

but what a way to go!

I wonder how FAST you’d have to eat them. I’ve probably eaten that many or the equivalent over my lifetime. Probably they mean at one sitting?

I’m pretty sure the time frame is at least as important as the quantity.

It can’t be any more expensive than the drug cocktail so many states are having problems with.

There is an LD50 for theobromine, but it’s apparently higher than for most critters. Wikipedia lists a figure of approximately 1,000 mg/kg theobromine/bodyweight in humans (as opposed to 200 mg/kg in cats and 300 mg/kg in dogs). So a 70 kg human would need to eat about 170 grams of unsweetened baker’s chocolate all at once, or about 6 ounces if my calculations are correct. That’s a sizable amount, considering baking chocolate is bitter. Milk chocolate is something like a tenth as potent, so about 3 and 3/4 pounds all at one sitting.

Note that all calculations here are mine and might be in error.

As one of the initial symptoms is nausea and vomiting the body’s own defenses might come to the rescue in most human cases.

I rechecked your calculations, because it somehow seems intuitively absurd that 6 ounces of extra dark chocolate is lethal half the time.

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine_poisoning dark or baker’s chocolate has 14 g of theobromine per kg. The LD50, as you said, is about 1000 mg/kg, or 1 g/kg. For a 70 kg adult that translates to 70 g. 70/14 = 5. So you’d actually have to eat about 11 pounds to achieve death by chocolate.

I think there’s some law stating that my calculations are wrong, so feel free to check them.

I think that the effects of eating 11 pounds of bakers chocolate are way worst than death (like losing your digestive system in the toilet)…

I’m thinking that Chocolate may be one of those substances which would kill you by tearing your stomach open like a overripe grape before it could somehow poison you.

Strangely this exact question came up elsewhere yesterday (on Twitter) and I concur that it’s theobromine, not caffeine, that would kill you first, and it would take at least 10lb of even dark chocolate to reach the LD[sub]50[/sub].