Chocolate: food for moods

Malays J Nutr. 2011 Aug;17(2):259-69.


Introduction: Chocolate is a popular food and its consumption has long been associated with enjoyment and pleasure. The effect of chocolate on mood too has long been recognised. Chocolate is thought to have interactions with neurotransmitters which contribute to mood modulation and appetite regulation. However, the evidence in chocolate and mood studies remains highly controversial. As more is known about the influence of chocolate on mood, the reasons for these effects appear increasingly complex and inter-related.

Methods: We reviewed chocolate's properties and the principal hypotheses addressing its mood altering propensities.

Results: The relationship between chocolate and mood are highly complex, combining psychopharmacological components, nutritional and sensory characteristics of the food. Individual and situational differences on chocolate consumption may also exert influence on mood and the mixed results in previous research indicate that the direction of the association remains unclear.

Conclusion: The association between chocolate consumption and emotions warrants further multi-prong investigations to substantiate chocolate's mood alterating propensity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Affect*
  • Cacao*
  • Humans