||11-04-2006 11:42 AM
Chocamine and Cocoa Extract
First off, I see there are two places offering chocomine, or similar products.
The first is Beyond-A-Century.com
COCOA EXTRACT 12%. Our new cocoa extract has better taste and solubility than our previous product (Shaf's note: which was Chocomine) at about 1/3 lower cost! It has the taste and aroma of unsweetened bitter chocolate standardized to 12% theobromine, theophylline & PEA. Dose is 500-1000mg (1/4-1/2tsp) 1-3x/day. Dissolves quickly in hot water or mixes well in shakes without gritty sediment. 100 grams, $8.00. Code 880.5 (replaces code 880.0)
Found in the catalog section Herbals C-E
I have no problem buying from BAC, and believe they have good quality products.
The other place was 1Fast400
Their blurb: (long blurb and I didn't bother fact checking it)
By David Tolson
Chocamine Powder 100 grams $11.00
Chocamine is a proprietary cocoa extract meant to provide the stimulation and health benefits of chocolate without any of the unnecessary, potentially unhealthy ingredients (such as sugar and fat). It contains numerous constituents, including methylxanthines (theobromine, caffeine, and theophylline), biogenic amines (phenylethylamine, tyramine, and according to one source, synephrine), amino acids (phenylalanine, tryptophan, tyrosine, others), minerals (with a high content of magnesium), numerous beneficial antioxidants, and possibly some non-psychoactive cannabanoid-related compounds. The combination of these multiple ingredients produces a unique effect. Promotional literature makes many positive claims about Chocamine, including increased energy, appetite suppression, increased lipolysis (fat burning), improved mood, improved concentration, increased alertness, improved physical performance, aphrodisiac properties, and health benefits. This article will examine the properties of some of the known constituents of Chocamine.
The methylxanthines are a group of compounds that include caffeine and some related stimulants. Chocamine contains methylxanthines such as theobromine, caffeine, and theophylline. Each gram of Chocamine contains 120 mg theobromine and 80 mg caffeine.
Caffeine is one of the most well-known stimulants, and functions primarily via antagonism of adenosine receptors. The properties of acute caffeine administration to humans include increased exercise performance, appetite suppression, increased rate of lipolysis, increased alertness, and reduced fatigue. Preliminary evidence suggests that regular consumption of small amounts of caffeine may also have neuroprotective and anticarcinogenic properties. On the other hand, caffeine is best avoided in those with high blood pressure and those prone to anxiety.
Theobromine is similar in both structure and function to caffeine, but it has a longer half-life, which may be one of the reasons chocamine has the reputation of being a "long-lasting stimulant." Theobromine also has a relative potency a few orders of magnitude lower than caffeine, but the amount in Chocamine (assuming a gram or more is taken) is still enough to have a psychoactive effect.
Theophylline is one of the most commonly used asthma medications due to its bronchodilating properties, and phosphodiesterase inhibition seems to play a relatively larger role in its pharmacologic activity compared to caffeine. Theophylline is also quite lipolytic, and in vitro studies indicate that it is more lipolytic than caffeine in equivalent concentrations, but it is unknown whether or not the amount in Chocamine is enough to have a significant effect.
Biogenic amines are neurotransmitter-related compounds such as synephrine, tyramine, octopamine, and phenylethylamine; these compounds are also commonly referred to as "false neurotransmitters," but the recent discovery of a specific receptor for these compounds in humans may have made this term obsolete. Nevertheless, they have many known actions in humans related to their effects on conventional receptors. Chocamine contains both phenylethylamine (PEA) and tyramine. One website indicates that it also contains synephrine, but I have been unable to confirm this as of yet.
PEA is a naturally occuring compound that behaves as a stimulant in the brain, with effects similar to those of amphetamine. However, oral bioavailability of PEA is very low, and there is not strong support for the contention that oral administration could yield a psychoactive effect, as many studies have come out negative. Some individuals may be particularly sensitive to the effects of oral PEA. Also, administration with an inhibitor of MAO-B renders PEA orally bioavailable.
Tyramine is another biogenic amine found in Chocamine. Tyramine is also found in relatively high concentrations in some foods such as aged cheese and wine. In insects, tyramine plays a similar role as a neurotransmitter to the role that epinephrine plays in mammals. In humans, tyramine can cause a release of norepinephrine. Tyramine is orally bioavailable, but unless an MAO inhibitor is being taken, large doses are required to exert an effect. It is unlikely that Chocamine contains a high enough amount of tyramine to have a significant effect, but it is possible that the tyramine content offers a mild contribution in terms of appetite suppression and lipolysis.
Synephrine is another related compound (a metabolite of tyramine), and it is an alpha(1) agonist. Synephrine has a higher oral bioavailability than most of the other trace amines. Because of its alpha(1) agonist properties, synephrine may be effective at decreasing appetite and promoting lipolysis, and it was found to be an effective therapy in an animal model of depression.
Chocamine contains amino acids such as phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan, all of which may have antidepressant effects, and both phenylalanine and tyrosine have stimulant effects. Although the area hasn't been explored much, research indicates that these amino acids may have additive antidepressant effects.
Tryptophan is the amino acid precursor to serotonin (5-HT), with 5-HTP as the intermediary. Many clinical studies suggest that tryptophan is an effective antidepressant, although it is not as reliably effective as 5-HTP. This is possibly due to the fact that there are more mechanisms that inhibit tryptophan transport across the blood brain barrier and conversion to serotonin. On top of this, it is unlikely that the amounts present in Chocamine are large enough to cause a significant change in brain serotonin status. Either way, the presence of this amino acid can be considered a possible benefit, but for a more reliable serotonergic antidepressant, 5-HTP is recommended. Tryptophan is yet another compound in chocamine that may contribute to appetite suppression.
Tyrosine is the precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine (DA). In humans, tyrosine supplementation leads to increased dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain without competitive inhibition of other amino acids. In turn, this may lead to the antidepressant, stimulant, and appetite suppressant effects of tyrosine observed in some studies.
Phenylalanine is the precursor to PEA. It is also a precursor to tyrosine, and is active in smaller doses. Unlike PEA itself, oral supplementation with phenylalanine may increase levels of PEA in the brain, although the literature is contradictory on this point. One trial indicated that L-phenylalanine had an antidepressant effect, but it was an open trial. As is the case with PEA, L-phenylalanine is also an effective antidepressant when coadministered with an MAO-B inhibitor.
Chocamine is reported to be rich in both magnesium and copper. There is generally no need for extra copper, although zinc, chromium, and vitamin C can all inhibit copper absorption to an extent. However, extra magnesium is generally beneficial. Increased magnesium intake has been associated with decreased risk of various cardiovascular disease states, and is also beneficial for the treatment of some conditions (such as migraine headaches). Other minerals found in chocolate, and presumably also present in Chocamine, are calcium and potassium.
Cocoa contains both plant sterols and fiber, both of which are beneficial to cardiovascular health, but the sterol content is low (and probably even lower when the fat is removed), and the fiber is lost with processing. However, cocoa contains high quantities of flavanoids (a class of polyphenols), including proanthocyanidins and the flavan-3-ols catechen and epicatechin, and according to the promotional literature, Chocamine is high in these compounds (and this is undoubtedly the case, since they are quite easy to extract). The content and makeup of these phytonutrients in chocolate is similar to that in apples (it is higher on a per weight basis, but less on a per calorie basis). Chocolate has been found to increase the content of these flavan-3-ols and proanthocyanidins in the bloodstream in humans. Other studies indicate that the antioxidant capacity of chocolate is comparable with that of garlic, blueberries, and strawberries. In three studies, ingestion of cocoa products was found to decrease LDL oxidation. Although well-designed epidemiological studies have not been done, studies have found cardiovascular disease reduction from other foods high in these compounds. It has also been suggested that chocolate/cocoa may share the anti-carcinogenic properties of foods with similar phytonutrients.
Chocamine contains many beneficial ingredients, especially if one is looking for CNS stimulation and appetite suppression. The effects could be compared to those of amphetamine, but not as potent or euphoric. Although it is likely that only 5 or 6 of the compounds in Chocamine are found in sufficient quantity to exert an effect, the combination of the many ingredients together will offer many subtleties and make for a rather unique supplement. This is a supplement that should be definitely avoided by those prone to anxiety attacks or with cardiovascular conditions because of the stimulating effects. Like other stimulants, it shouldn't be used before bed, and caution is strongly advised when combining with other stimulants. Recommended dosage is 1 gram 1-3 times daily (if in doubt, start low and move up). Although Chocamine undoubtedly is quite effective on it's own, the following supplements may have additive benefits when used at the same time.
* 5-HTP also has antidepressant and appetite suppressant properties, but through a different pathway. Chocamine may also help counteract the drowsiness/fatigue that some report from 5-HTP.
* Green tea extract can be used to increase the flavanoid content, provide further health benefits, and increase fat burning. Green tea extract is one of the least expensive and most potent sources of phytonutrients.
* D,L-phenylalanine and/or L-tyrosine can both be used to increase the content of these amino acids – both will provide a further antidepressant and appetite suppressant effect. The D form of phenylalanine, not found in Chocamine, will also have some unique benefits (see the DL-phenylalanine article).
* Yohimbine is lipolytic, and an appetite suppressant, and will add on to the reputed sexual stimulant effects of Chocamine. It is also synergistic with methylxanthines for fat loss. However, a high degree of caution is advised when stacking these (start low to monitor your reaction), and it is also likely to cause significant anxiety in those who are prone to it.