General Health News & Research

Cadmium & Chocolate: What You Should Know

Cadmium and Chocolate

Many individuals simply love chocolate. It is a known fact that chocolate cravings are indeed, very common. The chocolate industry is booming and with good reason. Almost everyone loves chocolate!

Good quality chocolate has a great amount of flavanols, powerful antioxidants. Chocolate has also been found in recent studies, notably from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, to aid and improve cognitive function, support heart health and contribute to controlling blood sugar, as well. Pure chocolate, without the unnecessary sugar, has good quality fat and there is no denying that. It contains beneficial phytonutrients and metabolites from chocolate’s caffeine content is able to reduce inflammation that is linked to aging.

Like all good things, that must be taken into consideration and awareness. Reason being is because all cocoa solids, a portion of any chocolate recipe, have been shown to contain cadmium, a heavy metal that is associated with harmful effects on the kidneys, lungs, and bones. In a recent report from, it was found that cocoa carries more than just antioxidants, it does indeed contain the toxic heavy metal, cadmium.

While cadmium is a heavy metal that is naturally found in soil and also through man-made sources, such as manufacturing, it can still lead to toxicity over years of accumulation. Cocoa solids, when dried, are known as cocoa powder, and cadmium is usually present in measurable levels in the cocoa powder.

We know that the cocoa powder contains cadmium, but this is just part of the consideration for the levels of cadmium in cocoa powder. Factors such as growth region, soil and particular types can determine, on a partial scale, the level of cadmium found in specific cocoa powder.

So how can you responsibly satisfy a chocolate craving without raising the risk of cadmium toxicity?

1. Be aware of the chocolate you consume. While different processes go into creating good chocolate, deciding on a company that promotes sustainable business practices, eco-friendly certifications, fair trade policies, and ethical treatment of its employees will ensure healthier chocolate with fewer contaminants. Reach out to the companies you buy chocolate from and ask what regions they are grown in. Companies that ethically source their cacao will often know what the best kinds are, and will also give you the information you request, as they want to support sustainable agriculture and safety.
2. Limit your intake and consider heavy metal chelation, if your cadmium levels are high. The more chocolate you consume in a day, the higher your chance for cadmium exposure will be. Limit your consumption to one to two servings per week. Get tested for heavy metal toxicity. At the Salerno Center, we provide state of the art, heavy metal testing. This allows us to see what types of heavy metals you have been exposed to. Once we know, we can treat the toxicity with heavy metal chelation through iv therapy and oral therapy, as well.

Lastly, everything in moderation is key, however, if you are concerned about heavy metal toxicity, feel free to contact our office to discuss your options to restoring your health.