Cocoa butter


Brand Names
Calmol, Preparation H Reformulated Jun 2013
Generic Name
Cocoa butter
DrugBank Accession Number

Cocoa butter is an edible natural fat obtained from the Theobroma cocoa seeds that is predominantly found in dark chocolate 4. It is a rich source of monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids 7 that mainly contains approximately 33% Oleic Acid, 25% Palmitic Acid, and 33% Stearic acid 1 but does not contain caffeine or theobromine. Fat cocoa solids, including cocoa butter, have lower phenolic content than non-fat cocoa solids but may contain some polyphenols of different structures of flavonoids with antioxidant properties 6.

Cocoa butter is included in chocolate and other food products, and can also be found in over-the-counter skin products such as lotions, creams, and bars intended to maintain skin softness. While cocoa butter has skin moisturizing properties, it was not shown to reduce the likelihood of developing of striae gravidarum, or stretch marks, in a double-blind, randomized clinical trial of women in the first trimester 2. Still, it is a common active ingredient for prevention of skin dryness in cosmetic and skincare products. Oftentimes cocoa butter is used in over-the-counter pharmaceutical products and suppositories. The lipid-lowering effects of cocoa butter have been studied and investigated, as fatty acid constituents of cocoa butter are known to exhibit lipid-lowering properties. Dyslipidemia is characterized by elevated levels of plasma triglyceride and very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol due to overproduction of large triglyceride-enriched VLDL cholesterol particles 1. Cocoa butter has shown to reduce VLDL cholesterol levels in animal studies, suggesting its potential use in lipid disorders.

  • Cacao butter
  • Cacao seed oil, fermented
  • Oil, cocoa butter
  • Oil,cocoa butter
  • Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter
  • Theobroma cacao oil
  • Theobroma oil



Indicated for topical use in over-the-counter skin products for the treatment of skin dryness and reduction of striae gravidarum (stretch marks).

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In a rat study, treatment with 10% cocoa butter has been shown to lower liver cholesterol and triglyceride levels without affecting the serum cholesterol levels 1. Supplementation of cocoa butter reduced the level of creatinine in vitro, suggesting that cocoa butter may also beneficial to renal function via antioxidant effects 1.

Mechanism of action

Cocoa butter is comprised of saturated fatty acids that exert a neutral cholesterolemic response in humans 5. Stearic acid is one of the major constituent in cocoa butter that is a non-atherogenic type of dietary saturated fat 4. Although it is a saturated fatty acid known to elevate plasma lipids and lipoproteins, stearic acid from plant sources differs from animal-derived sources of stearic acid 5. Possible explanations for this unique property may include chain length, inefficient absorption, metabolism kinetics, and hepatic desaturation of stearic into oleic acid 5. Apart from its lipid-lowering actions, stearic acid may also mediate actions on hemostasis and thrombosis which still remain inconclusive 4. In vitro, stearic acid was demonstrated to promote platelet aggregation and factor VII coagulant activity; however in vivo preliminary studies mixed results 5.

Cocoa butter may contain flavonoids that elicit antioxidant, anti-platelet, anti-inflammatory effects, as well as possibly increasing HDL, lowering blood pressure, and improving endothelial function 4. They inhibit lipid peroxidation, scavenge reactive oxygen species, and attenuate photochemical overproduction of ROS thus minimize UV-induced photodamage and signs of aging on the skin 3.


Cocoa butter displays poor bioavailability and low absorption compared to other oils 1.

Volume of distribution

No pharmacokinetic data available.

Protein binding

No pharmacokinetic data available.


No pharmacokinetic data available.

Route of elimination

No pharmacokinetic data available.


No pharmacokinetic data available.


No pharmacokinetic data available.

Adverse Effects
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No toxicokinetic data available.

Not Available
Pharmacogenomic Effects/ADRs
Not Available


Drug Interactions
This information should not be interpreted without the help of a healthcare provider. If you believe you are experiencing an interaction, contact a healthcare provider immediately. The absence of an interaction does not necessarily mean no interactions exist.
Not Available
Food Interactions
No interactions found.


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Over the Counter Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
Coconut Cosmetics 3-in-1 SerumOil19.996 g/20mLTopicalFiesta Ingredients Spain Sociedad Limitada2022-05-15Not applicableUS flag
Dermatitica Synergy for treatment of DermatitisOil3.2 mg/50mLTopicalPhytopia Co., Ltd.2016-04-01Not applicableUS flag
Stretch Marks Remover Stretch Marks RemoverOil3.2 mg/50mLTopicalPhytopia Co., Ltd.2016-04-01Not applicableUS flag
Suppo H Sup 1000mgSuppository1 g / supRectalProduits Aloex Ltee1996-06-271997-09-11Canada flag
Suppo-H 1000mg/supSuppository1 g / supRectalSantrel International Inc.1992-12-311999-12-31Canada flag
Mixture Products
NameIngredientsDosageRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
Apz Hemorrhoidal SuppositoriesCocoa butter (85.5 % w/w) + Phenylephrine hydrochloride (0.25 % w/w)SuppositoryRectalApz Pharmaceutical CorporationNot applicableNot applicableCanada flag
Atopic Healer SynergyCocoa butter (4.9 mg/50mL) + Balsam of Peru (3.6 mg/50mL)OilTopicalPhytopia Co., Ltd.2016-04-01Not applicableUS flag
Avedana HemorrhoidalCocoa butter (2211 mg/1) + Phenylephrine hydrochloride (6.25 mg/1)SuppositoryRectalUnipack LLC2020-10-26Not applicableUS flag
AverteaxCocoa butter (2.5 mg/1g) + Zinc oxide (0.15 mg/1g)CreamTopicalCamellix, LLC2014-01-01Not applicableUS flag
AverteaxCocoa butter (2.5 mg/1g) + Zinc oxide (0.15 mg/1g)OintmentTopicalCamellix, LLC2014-01-01Not applicableUS flag


Drug Categories
Not classified
Affected organisms
Not Available

Chemical Identifiers

CAS number


General References
  1. Yildirim E, Cinar M, Yalcinkaya I, Ekici H, Atmaca N, Guncum E: Effect of cocoa butter and sunflower oil supplementation on performance, immunoglobulin, and antioxidant vitamin status of rats. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:606575. doi: 10.1155/2014/606575. Epub 2014 Jul 16. [Article]
  2. Osman H, Usta IM, Rubeiz N, Abu-Rustum R, Charara I, Nassar AH: Cocoa butter lotion for prevention of striae gravidarum: a double-blind, randomised and placebo-controlled trial. BJOG. 2008 Aug;115(9):1138-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2008.01796.x. [Article]
  3. Scapagnini G, Davinelli S, Di Renzo L, De Lorenzo A, Olarte HH, Micali G, Cicero AF, Gonzalez S: Cocoa bioactive compounds: significance and potential for the maintenance of skin health. Nutrients. 2014 Aug 11;6(8):3202-13. doi: 10.3390/nu6083202. [Article]
  4. Ding EL, Hutfless SM, Ding X, Girotra S: Chocolate and prevention of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2006 Jan 3;3:2. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-3-2. [Article]
  5. Steinberg FM, Bearden MM, Keen CL: Cocoa and chocolate flavonoids: implications for cardiovascular health. J Am Diet Assoc. 2003 Feb;103(2):215-23. doi: 10.1053/jada.2003.50028. [Article]
  6. Jalil AM, Ismail A: Polyphenols in cocoa and cocoa products: is there a link between antioxidant properties and health? Molecules. 2008 Sep 16;13(9):2190-219. [Article]
  7. Magrone T, Russo MA, Jirillo E: Cocoa and Dark Chocolate Polyphenols: From Biology to Clinical Applications. Front Immunol. 2017 Jun 9;8:677. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.00677. eCollection 2017. [Article]
PubChem Substance

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials
4TerminatedTreatmentMultiple Sclerosis1
2, 3CompletedTreatmentHemorrhoid Bleeding1
Not AvailableCompletedPreventionPregnancy / Striae Gravidarum1


Not Available
Not Available
Dosage Forms
OilTopical19.996 g/20mL
Cloth; kit; suppositoryRectal; Topical
SuppositoryRectal85.5 %
OilTopical3.2 mg/50mL
SuppositoryRectal1 g / sup
OintmentTopical50 g/100g
Not Available
Not Available


Not Available
Experimental Properties
Not Available

Drug created at December 03, 2015 16:51 / Updated at March 02, 2024 03:15