ramblings of an electronic engineer.

Death by chocolate


Since today in International Chocolate Day… how much chocolate would it take to kill you? In general most people know that you shouldn’t feed chocolate to dogs because it can make them sick and in some cases die (actually cats are even more sensitive to it however they have no sweet receptors on their tongue so are less likely to ingest a lethal dose). This is because a compound called theobromine which is a toxin found in the chocolate. The lethal dosage to have a 50% chance of death (known as the LD50) of theobromine in dogs if around 300mg/kg of weight, and 1000mg/kg of body weight in humans. Know this we can calculate how much theobromine is required to have a 50% chance of death… Lets start with a dog

Average Weight = 25kg; LD50 = 300mg/kg = 7.5g

And now for a human…

Average Weight = 70kg; LD50 = 1000mg/kg = 70g

Different chocolate has different amounts of theobromine but for these calculation lets say that for every 470g of milk chocolate there is 1g of theobromine and for every 140g of dark chocolate there is 1g of theobromine. Factoring this in we find that to have a 50% chance of killing a dog it must consume either 3.5kg of milk chocolate or 1kg of dark chocolate, and for humans 32.9kg of milk chocolate or 9.8kg dark chocolate.  However remembering this is only the LD50, there also exists a LD (low) which is the minimum amount of a toxin it can potentially take to kill a subject, which in the case of theobromine for dogs is 16mg/kg body weight and humans 26mg/kg. Redoing the maths we find the the minimum amount of chocolate required to potentially kill a dog is around 188g of milk chocolate or 91g of dark chocolate. Finally for a human 855.4g of milk chocolate or 254.8 of dark chocolate is potentially deadly.

TL;DR Don’t eat more than 250g of dark chocolate or 800g of milk chocolate in one sitting.

Edit: This article should not constitute as medical advice, use the information within at your own peril etc…


2 thoughts on “Death by chocolate

  1. Pingback: 7 Eleven Bottomless Cup Day 2013 | 19hertz

  2. Pingback: 100 Posts | 19hertz

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