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Cacao as an Antidepressant

Researchers have suggested that for many people, having too little of certain substances in the brain (called neurotransmitters) could contribute to depression. Restoring the balance of brain chemicals could help alleviate symptoms — which is often where the different classes of antidepressant medications may come in.

Compounds found in Cacao, such as tryptophan, anandamide and phenylethylamine have been found to normalize the production of the neurotransmitters.

  • Tryptophan: Critical for production of serotonin and melatonin, prevents breakdown of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.
  • Anandamide: Regulates mood, memory, appetite and pain perception.
  • Phenylethylamine (PEA): Regulates mood by triggering endorphin, dopamine and noradrenalin.

This makes Cacao a natural, yet effective tool for treatment of depression, seasonal affective disorder, anxiety disorders, insomnia and low libido - as well as regulating energy levels, mood, memory, appetite, cognitive function and pain perception.

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