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  • If you are a human,

  • and you have a tongue,

  • you have no doubt eaten and enjoyed and possibly become obsessed with chocolate.

  • Some people can't get enough of it, others claim it has aphrodisiac properties.

  • And yet this delicious confection can kill your dog without mercy.

  • So, before you unwrap that truffle, why not

  • get the facts about humanity's favorite sweet.

  • First, let's get our terms straight. What's the difference between chocolate,

  • cocoa, and the ingredient you see on a lot of chocolate wrappers these days:

  • cacao.

  • They are all products of the same plant native to Central and South America

  • Theobroma cacao.

  • Since at least the heyday of the Olmec culture in Mexico

  • 3,000 years ago, and too much the rest of the world since then,

  • the fruit of that plant is, and has always been known as cacao.

  • But it seems that English speakers

  • long ago swapped around some of the vowels and started calling it Coco.

  • because that's just how we do. And for a very long time

  • both words referred to the same specific thing: the powder made from the dried,

  • fermented fruit of the cacao tree. These days though

  • foodies will tell you that the terms can describe cacao extract that's processed

  • in slightly different ways. Stuff labeled as cacao generally has had the fat and

  • the fruit, known as cocoa butter, removed by pressing it cold. Where as Cocoa is

  • usually heated to get the fat out. Chocolate, meanwhile, is just food made

  • from this cacao or cocoa but with a whole bunch of sugar milk fat added to it.

  • By the way there's also coca, which has nothing to do with cacao or chocolate.

  • Coca is a product of the coca plant, also from South America, whose leaves yield a

  • mild stimulant when chewed or drunk as a tea. So trust me

  • Milky Ways, Zagnuts, the things you get in the Halloween candies... no cocaine.

  • But the confusion between these two plants may stem from the fact that cacao is its own

  • kind of natural stimulant.

  • While some studies have suggested that cacao contains chemicals that can

  • imitate our feel-good neurotransmitters, its main active ingredient is

  • Theobromine, which is very similar to caffeine. It's also found in tea and kola nuts.

  • But instead of giving you that hyper "let's have a push-up contest" kind

  • of rush, it creates more alertness or sharpness of mind.

  • The kind that comes in handy when you're you know aligning giant stone monuments

  • with the equinoxes or something. But Theobromine also functions as a

  • Vasodilator, a chemical that causes blood vessels to relax and blood to move more freely.

  • This can not only help arouse the brain and ease the heart, it also can

  • have a distinctly Viagra-like effect on some men. Which may be the origin of

  • chocolates reputation as an aphrodisiac.

  • But as with all stimulus, Theobromine has its downsides. It can be a powerful

  • diuretic, and, even though it's not nearly as strong as caffeine, large amounts can

  • cause effect similar to those of caffeine overdose like:

  • anxiety, headaches, and nausea.

  • In fact, some Mesoamerican

  • cultures used cacao to make a kind of ceremonial brew to induce vomiting.

  • And many Mississippian cultures in the American South used cacao's cousin, a holly

  • called Ilex Vomitoria to mix up a similar drink for ritual barfing.

  • Speaking of barfing,

  • it is true that chocolate is highly toxic to dogs. Not because it's poisonous

  • in itself, but because it takes dogs much longer to metabolize Theobronine.

  • While we might feel chocolate's buzz for at least a half an hour or so,

  • it can linger and accumulate in a dog's system for a day, or even more, causing an

  • overdose with vomiting, diarrhea, even seizures, and possible organ failure.

  • The problem is actually worse for cats, but they rarely get poisoned because they can't

  • taste sweetness so they aren't all that into chocolate. Poor kitties, they can't

  • taste sweetness. But it's good though that they're not dying.

  • Good and bad. It's a balance. And while there's some anecdotal evidence of

  • people becoming addicted to chocolate, it's hard to isolate the true source of

  • the craving; whether it's the Theobromine or the fat and sugar and other stuff

  • that have been found to fuel a broader food addictions. Me, I'm just gonna

  • stick to my milano cookies. Just one or two a day.

  • This one has peppermint on it.

  • Thank you for watching this tasty Scishow dose, and thanks especially to

  • all of our subscribers on Subbable who continue to make this show possible.

  • And now, you can celebrate your love of both Scishow and chocolate with

  • an official Scishow chocolate bar.

  • Oooh it's even printed with scishow on the thing. To find out how, go to

  • subbable.com and as always you can find us on Facebook and Twitter too.

  • Don't forget to go to youtube.com/scishow and subscribe.

If you are a human,

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巧克力(The Science of Chocolate)

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    joey joey 發佈於 2021 年 05 月 07 日
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