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Record Information
Created at2006-05-22 15:12:12 UTC
Updated at2021-10-07 20:40:53 UTC
NP-MRD IDNP0001065
Secondary Accession NumbersNone
Natural Product Identification
Common NameTheobromine
DescriptionTheobromine, or 3,7-Dimethylxanthine, is the principle alkaloid in Theobroma cacao (the cacao bean) and other plants. A xanthine alkaloid that is used as a bronchodilator and as a vasodilator. It has a weaker diuretic activity than theophylline and is also a less powerful stimulant of smooth muscle. It has practically no stimulant effect on the central nervous system. It was formerly used as a diuretic and in the treatment of angina pectoris and hypertension. Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid of the methylxanthine family, which also includes the similar compounds theophylline and caffeine. Despite its name, the compound contains no bromine. Theobromine is derived from Theobroma, the genus of the cacao tree, which is composed of the Greek roots theo ("God") and broma ("food"), meaning "food of the gods". It is the primary alkaloid found in cocoa and chocolate, and is one of the causes for chocolate's mood-elevating effects. The amount found in chocolate is small enough that chocolate can be safely consumed by humans in large quantities, but animals that metabolize theobromine more slowly, such as cats and dogs, can easily consume enough chocolate to cause chocolate poisoning. Theobromine is a stimulant frequently confused with caffeine. Theobromine has very different effects on the human body from caffeine; it is a mild, lasting stimulant with a mood improving effect, whereas caffeine has a strong, immediate effect and increases stress. In medicine, it is used as a diuretic, vasodilator, and myocardial stimulant. There is a possible association between prostate cancer and theobromine. Theobromine is a contributing factor in acid reflux because it relaxes the esophageal sphincter muscle, allowing stomach acid access to the esophagus.
Chemical FormulaC7H8N4O2
Average Mass180.1640 Da
Monoisotopic Mass180.06473 Da
IUPAC Name3,7-dimethyl-2,3,6,7-tetrahydro-1H-purine-2,6-dione
Traditional Nametheobromine
CAS Registry Number83-67-0
InChI Identifier
Spectrum TypeDescriptionDepositor IDDeposition DateView
2D NMR[1H, 13C]-HSQC NMR Spectrum (2D, 600 MHz, 100%_DMSO, experimental)Wishart Lab2021-06-20View Spectrum
1D NMR1H NMR Spectrum (1D, 600 MHz, DMSO, simulated)V.dorna832021-08-31View Spectrum
1D NMR1H NMR Spectrum (1D, 600 MHz, DMSO, experimental)V.dorna832021-08-31View Spectrum
1D NMR1H NMR Spectrum (1D, 600 MHz, DMSO, simulated)Varshavi.d262021-08-18View Spectrum
1D NMR1H NMR Spectrum (1D, 600 MHz, DMSO, experimental)Varshavi.d262021-08-18View Spectrum
Species of Origin
Species NameSourceReference
Camellia irawadiensisKNApSAcK Database
Camellia irrawadiensisKNApSAcK Database
Camellia ptilophyllaKNApSAcK Database
Camellia sinensisKNApSAcK Database
Camellia taliensisKNApSAcK Database
Camellia theaKNApSAcK Database
Citrus limonKNApSAcK Database
Citrus maximaKNApSAcK Database
Citrus paradisiKNApSAcK Database
Coffea canephoraKNApSAcK Database
Coffea dewevreiKNApSAcK Database
Coffea eugeniodesKNApSAcK Database
Coffea kianjavatensisKNApSAcK Database
Coffea libericaKNApSAcK Database
Coffea racemosaKNApSAcK Database
Coffea salvatrixKNApSAcK Database
Cola acuminataKNApSAcK Database
Cola sp.KNApSAcK Database
Ilex paraguariensis A.St.-Hil.KNApSAcK Database
Ilex peradoKNApSAcK Database
Paullinia cupanaKNApSAcK Database
Paullinia pachycarpaKNApSAcK Database
Paullinia trifoliataKNApSAcK Database
Paullinia yocoKNApSAcK Database
Pseudopiptadenia leptostachyaKNApSAcK Database
Scurrula atropurpureaKNApSAcK Database
Theobroma cacaoKNApSAcK Database
Theobroma grandiflorumKNApSAcK Database
Chemical Taxonomy
Description Belongs to the class of organic compounds known as xanthines. These are purine derivatives with a ketone group conjugated at carbons 2 and 6 of the purine moiety.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassOrganoheterocyclic compounds
Sub ClassPurines and purine derivatives
Direct ParentXanthines
Alternative Parents
  • Xanthine
  • 6-oxopurine
  • Purinone
  • Alkaloid or derivatives
  • Pyrimidone
  • N-substituted imidazole
  • Pyrimidine
  • Azole
  • Imidazole
  • Heteroaromatic compound
  • Vinylogous amide
  • Lactam
  • Urea
  • Azacycle
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Organic oxide
  • Organopnictogen compound
  • Organooxygen compound
  • Organonitrogen compound
  • Organic oxygen compound
  • Organic nitrogen compound
  • Aromatic heteropolycyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAromatic heteropolycyclic compounds
External Descriptors
Physical Properties
Experimental Properties
Melting Point357 °CNot Available
Boiling PointNot AvailableNot Available
Water Solubility0.33 mg/mL at 25 °CNot Available
LogP-0.78Hansch CH, Leo A and Hoekman DH. "Exploring QSAR: Hydrophobic, Electronic, and Steric Constraints. Volume 1" ACS Publications (1995).
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility9.74 g/LALOGPS
pKa (Strongest Acidic)9.28ChemAxon
pKa (Strongest Basic)-0.91ChemAxon
Physiological Charge0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count3ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count1ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area67.23 ŲChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count0ChemAxon
Refractivity44.93 m³·mol⁻¹ChemAxon
Polarizability16.85 ųChemAxon
Number of Rings2ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterNoChemAxon
Veber's RuleNoChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleNoChemAxon
DrugBank IDDB01412
Phenol Explorer Compound IDNot Available
FoodDB IDFDB000455
KNApSAcK IDC00001509
Chemspider ID5236
KEGG Compound IDC07480
BiGG IDNot Available
Wikipedia LinkTheobromine
PubChem Compound5429
PDB IDNot Available
ChEBI ID28946
Good Scents IDrw1036961
General References
  1. Holstege A, Kurz M, Weinbeck M, Gerok W: Excretion of caffeine and its primary degradation products into bile. J Hepatol. 1993 Jan;17(1):67-73. [PubMed:8445222 ]
  2. Delahunty T, Schoendorfer D: Caffeine demethylation monitoring using a transdermal sweat patch. J Anal Toxicol. 1998 Nov-Dec;22(7):596-600. [PubMed:9847011 ]
  3. Blanchard J, Weber CW, Shearer LE: Methylxanthine levels in breast milk of lactating women of different ethnic and socioeconomic classes. Biopharm Drug Dispos. 1992 Apr;13(3):187-96. [PubMed:1576327 ]
  4. Sachse C, Ruschen S, Dettling M, Schley J, Bauer S, Muller-Oerlinghausen B, Roots I, Brockmoller J: Flavin monooxygenase 3 (FMO3) polymorphism in a white population: allele frequencies, mutation linkage, and functional effects on clozapine and caffeine metabolism. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1999 Oct;66(4):431-8. [PubMed:10546928 ]
  5. Desiraju RK, Sugita ET, Mayock RL: Determination of theophylline and its metabolites by liquid chromatography. J Chromatogr Sci. 1977 Dec;15(12):563-8. [PubMed:591601 ]
  6. Tarka SM Jr, Arnaud MJ, Dvorchik BH, Vesell ES: Theobromine kinetics and metabolic disposition. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1983 Oct;34(4):546-55. [PubMed:6617078 ]
  7. Tserng KY, King KC, Takieddine FN: Theophylline metabolism in premature infants. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1981 May;29(5):594-600. [PubMed:7214789 ]
  8. Gonzalez-Jimenez J, Frutos G, Cayre I: Fluorescence quenching of human serum albumin by xanthines. Biochem Pharmacol. 1992 Aug 18;44(4):824-6. [PubMed:1510729 ]
  9. Sommer KR, Hill RM, Horning MG: Identification and quantification of drugs in human amniotic fluid. Res Commun Chem Pathol Pharmacol. 1975 Nov;12(3):583-95. [PubMed:1197933 ]
  10. Skopinska-Rozewska E, Janik P, Przybyszewska M, Sommer E, Bialas-Chromiec B: Inhibitory effect of theobromine on induction of angiogenesis and VEGF mRNA expression in v-raf transfectants of human urothelial cells HCV-29. Int J Mol Med. 1998 Dec;2(6):649-52. [PubMed:9850731 ]
  11. Resman BH, Blumenthal P, Jusko WJ: Breast milk distribution of theobromine from chocolate. J Pediatr. 1977 Sep;91(3):477-80. [PubMed:894424 ]
  12. Scott NR, Chakraborty J, Marks V: Determination of caffeine, theophylline and theobromine in serum and saliva using high-performance liquid chromatography. Ann Clin Biochem. 1984 Mar;21 ( Pt 2):120-4. [PubMed:6712142 ]
  13. Emara S: Simultaneous determination of caffeine, theophylline and theobromine in human plasma by on-line solid-phase extraction coupled to reversed-phase chromatography. Biomed Chromatogr. 2004 Oct;18(8):479-85. [PubMed:15386526 ]
  14. Gennaro MC, Abrigo C, Biglino P: Quantification of theophylline in human plasma by reversed-phase ion-interaction high-performance liquid chromatography and comparison with the TDx fluorescence polarization immunoassay procedure. Analyst. 1992 Jul;117(7):1071-4. [PubMed:1524227 ]
  15. Slattery ML, West DW: Smoking, alcohol, coffee, tea, caffeine, and theobromine: risk of prostate cancer in Utah (United States). Cancer Causes Control. 1993 Nov;4(6):559-63. [PubMed:8280834 ]
  16. Usmani OS, Belvisi MG, Patel HJ, Crispino N, Birrell MA, Korbonits M, Korbonits D, Barnes PJ: Theobromine inhibits sensory nerve activation and cough. FASEB J. 2005 Feb;19(2):231-3. Epub 2004 Nov 17. [PubMed:15548587 ]