Warning about *dark* chocolate/cocoa/cacao (or foods containing high amounts of 5ar inhibiting flavonols)!


Did anyone else get worse from eating dark chocolate/cocoa/cacao then recover from it?

I took one heaping tbsp of Navitas cacao nibs once a day for the past three days for fatigue and health benefits and all of a sudden again I can’t sleep for more than 2.5 hours today like when I first withdrew from finasteride.

Past two nights weren’t so good either but I didn’t make the connection. Little did I know that cocoa contains flavonoids that are 5ari and I happened to take a brand with very high polyphenol content.

I also took 2000 mcg of methyl b12 once a day for the past two days because I read that it could help treat delayed sleep phase disorder. So it’s either one of those or a combination thereof that caused another episode of extreme insomnia/elimination of sleep drive. I’m obviously going to stop taking these supplements from now on except for the b12 very modestly as before. I am scared for my life again. What a nightmare.

Note: I took fin in early August 2018, this post was made on March 22, 2019. This was my first post in months because I was actually starting to feel like at times my sleep was going back to pre-fin days, that is until I took these cacao nibs (pure cocoa solids.) Chocolate is cocoa solids + cocoa butter.

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Gabapentin for deep sleep

I’m pretty sure another user here (not sure of the name exactly, mariotevli or something similar to that) had issues with chocolate so he cut it out entirely from his diet, so you aren’t completely alone in this specific response.

I was having insomnia issues a couple months ago after trying DHEA and Pregnenolone, and it didn’t subside until I started taking magnesium glycinate. Maybe that’s something you’d be interested in trying, and if you are, I’d be more than happy to share what brand I use (I get it off of Amazon too, so easy access).

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They are high in caffeine, I wouldn’t say there is anything particularly bad about them.

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Dark chocolate increased my symptoms too.


Increased permanently? Or increases temporarily?


Temporarily Greek, though other things like the turmeric have had a permanent detrimental effect re even dryer skin, louder tinnitus, sweats and cognitive sides. Added saurkraut yesterday and that gave me a slight uplift in my extremely low mood I also had more relaxed sleep but that has also had a cost similar to turmeric so will try it every other day and see how it goes. Endocrinologist this afternoon :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the info. Good luck this afternoon.

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Didnt someone on here have a catastrophic crash after taking methyl B12?


Sleep maintenance insomnia seems to be my main symptom from eating cocoa nibs. I also have my energy levels plummet and get pretty dizzy right after a bout of moderate cardio exercise. It lasts an hour at the most. Not sure if that’s related to my past finasteride use.

Two nights ago I slept for a little under 7 hours with a brief awakening at the 3.5 hour mark. Went back to sleep again after 1.5 hours for 2 more hours.

Last night I woke up at the 3.5 hour mark again, this time for much longer, around an hour. Slept for 5 more hours after that with a brief awakening in the middle.

In total, I slept for at least 8 hours each night, but it’s broken. I’m feeling quite exhausted every day, but then again I’ve always been feeling exhausted due to chronically disturbed sleep.

Going to try eliminating some more healthy foods that I love like avocados for their beta sitosterol content to see if it makes an improvement to my sleep.


I’ve been taking 400 mg magnesium citrate every night for the past couple of years long before taking finasteride. I’d tried mag glycinate too but can’t remember if it made a positive or negative difference.


Yeah, Dubya_B from this thread: A warning about SAM-e, methylcobalamin, and high-dose B vitamins


I would pay money for your sleep. I sleep zero minutes without drugs. And now I’m in the midst of some mysterious withdrawal (probably from drinking alcohol with sleep meds) . I’m trying to titrate down the booze and sleep on stuff that doesnt hit the same receptors. What a nightmare. I suspect I might actually end up in either rehab or the emergency room due to a AWS complication. Oh… and I have a heart condition that causes the heart to go into a dangerous arrhythmia under certain meds like Trazadone or Seroquel. It’s called QT Prolongation. If I die, I might be the first to actually die from PFS. I suspect my heart condition is PFS related. But I’m fighting the good fight.



Monday night - Had a bit too much pistachios. That’s probably on a forbidden list as well, right? Slept for only 3.5 hours then 1.5 hours. Home ridden the entire day.

Tuesday night - Had too much tamari almonds. Oh, fuck, the soy!! Also had some blueberries. Oh, no. Getting palpitations again. Meditated for 45min before bed. After 2 hours of sleep, I’m wide awake making this post.

Never had such dramatic and severe reactions with these foods before eating those cacao nibs. Is post-fin chocolate really going to end me finally?

I have some temazepam lying around and I’m tempted to take it, but I’m afraid of frying away what gaba receptors I have left. Trazodone also makes my heart pulse and paranoid about fatal arrhythmias.

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For what it’s worth, it seems like we all have to work out what’s a trigger and what isn’t.

I eat chocolate most days.

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I was eating pure cocoa beans. What I had was incredibly high in flavonoids, alkaloids, or whatever the hell compounds that make chocolate chocolate and are suspected for its 5ari action, way beyond just dark chocolate. Some chocolate is probably fine, but somehow a tbsp of the stuff I took a day for 3 days triggered this extreme reaction.

I should also note that it gave me normal libido, morning wood, and normal ejaculatory force for only a day when I’ve had neither for months now.

Look at Navitas Cacao Nibs on the chart here:

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Thanks for the info!


Thanks for sharing @mercked. If there’s a sound basis to those measurements it does look like you were eating pretty flavonol-rich cacao. As always, this notable improvement followed by a worsening is (unfortunately) what we would expect, and what we have spelt out and posted caution about many times. It is clear that some cases of PFS are much more affected by even sometimes dietary levels and therefore we can only “officially” caution everyone to be extremely careful with antiandrogenic substances, even if they are taking it with confidence in some theoretical basis or for reasons a substance with antiandrogenic properties may be marketed by the nutraceutical industry.

Flavonoids have a marked antiandrogenic action and this is why people experiencing “PFS” after concentrated phenolic compounds are catered for here and in the survey. @Demon posted a couple of resources regarding this here:

I can only suggest that you give it some time and avoid foods with antiandrogenic properties - eg do lay off the soy and blueberries. I would expect it may take you a little while so I hope you’re taking it easy. If it’s any consolation, I don’t expect this will finish you off in and of itself - basing that upon the fact 1.5-3 hours is my “normal” sleep schedule with my degree of PFS, sadly.

All the best


I was going to start making weight gainer shakes with Nutella. Good thing i saw this…


Thanks for this post. Funny how a random reddit post got me to take finasteride and another random reddit post got me to take chocolate for the purposes of fighting fatigue with no consideration of my post-fin background. The only improvement I had with the cacao was with sexual sides. I was sleeping worse since day one and did not connect any dots til two days later. How long of a ride do you think I’ll be in for? A few weeks? lashes_to_lashes’ (RIP) story is heart-rending and frankly really triggering of suicidal ideations. I worry extremely for how little sleep you’ve been getting. Sleep loss ought to be one of the all time worse sides of living with PFS from which all things can only deteriorate rapidly. What have you tried recently to get more and better sleep? Are you actively trying to do anything right now to try to fix it?

Maybe I should try to eating a lot of grass fed beef/animal fats and lay off the healthy plant-based eating life style for a while or something?


When ever I read posts like this I can’t help but think it’s a little over the top, same with posts I’ve read about people not using certain deodorants and soaps, and even peopke stop using plastic bottles, when will the madness end

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