Celebrating World Chocolate Day: The Sweet Intersection of Genetics and Your Chocolate Cravings

Celebrating World Chocolate Day: The Sweet Intersection of Genetics and Your Chocolate Cravings

BioCertica Content Team

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

July 7 is World Chocolate Day, a day that allows us to indulge in our favorite cocoa-infused treats, celebrate their global influence, and uncover a few secrets of our genetic blueprints. Here at BioCertica, we appreciate the science behind why we love chocolate, and we thought it would be fascinating to share some insight from our genetics testing suite on this delightful day.

Chocolate is more than just a sweet treat. It's a product of complex chemical processes that starts with the humble cacao tree and ends with a bar of chocolate that can influence our mood and tantalize our taste buds. But have you ever wondered why some people are ardent chocolate lovers while others can easily pass up a chocolate bar?

A Sweet Genetic Mystery

Let's unwrap this mystery. Our preferences, including our love for chocolate, are significantly influenced by our genes. In a typical human genome, there are around 25,000 genes that determine everything from our eye color to how we metabolize food. When it comes to taste, several genes can influence how we perceive sweet, bitter, and umami flavors.

For instance, the TAS1R2 gene plays a critical role in how we perceive sweet tastes. Variants in this gene may make us more or less sensitive to sweet foods like chocolate, influencing our cravings. Similarly, the TAS2R38 gene is responsible for our ability to taste bitterness. Depending on our genetic makeup, we might find the bitterness in dark chocolate more pronounced or enjoyable.

The Healthy Side of Chocolate

Beyond taste, our genes also impact how our bodies respond to the compounds found in chocolate. Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant found in dark chocolate, have been linked to several health benefits like lower blood pressure and improved heart health. However, the effectiveness of these flavonoids can vary from person to person, depending on their genetic predisposition.

For example, variations in the APOA2 gene can influence how much a person benefits from the antioxidants in dark chocolate. Our Nutrition and Wellbeing test can reveal your genetic variants and provide insights into how your body might respond to the health benefits of chocolate.

Chocolate and Your Fitness Goals

What about fitness enthusiasts who crave chocolate but are worried about their weight management? There's good news. Not all chocolate is created equal, and a small portion of dark chocolate can fit into a balanced diet. Plus, your genetic profile can also influence how your body responds to the macronutrients in chocolate, like fats and carbohydrates.

Our Weight Management test can provide personalized advice on how your body will likely process these nutrients. This can help you make more informed decisions about when and how to include chocolate in your diet without impacting your fitness goals.

Celebrate World Chocolate Day with Insight

This World Chocolate Day, indulge a bit more mindfully. With BioCertica’s genetic tests, you can understand not just what you love to eat, but why you love to eat it, and how it affects your body.

For more information about our range of genetic tests and how they can help you live a healthier, happier, and more fulfilled life, feel free to get in touch with our team of specialists. We are more than ready to help you understand the unique language of your DNA.


  • Fushan, A. A., Simons, C. T., Slack, J. P., Drayna, D. (2010). Association between common variation in genes encoding sweet taste signaling components and human sucrose perception. Chemical Senses, 35(7), 579-592. 
  • Bufe, B., Breslin, P. A., Kuhn, C., Reed, D. R., Tharp, C. D., Slack, J. P., Kim, U. K., Drayna, D., Meyerhof, W. (2005). The molecular basis of individual differences in phenylthiocarbamide and propylthiouracil bitterness perception. Current Biology, 15(4), 322-327.
  • Corella D, Peloso G, Arnett DK, Demissie S, Cupples LA, Tucker K, Lai CQ, Parnell LD, Coltell O, Lee YC, Ordovas JM. (2009). APOA2, dietary fat, and body mass index: replication of a gene-diet interaction in 3 independent populations. Archives of Internal Medicine, 169(20), 1897-906.
  • Grassi D, Desideri G, Necozione S, Lippi C, Casale R, Properzi G, Blumberg JB, Ferri C. (2008). Blood pressure is reduced and insulin sensitivity increased in glucose-intolerant, hypertensive subjects after 15 days of consuming high-polyphenol dark chocolate. The Journal of Nutrition, 138(9), 1671-6.
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