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Like theophylline, a purine or xanthine derivative similar to caffeine and present in tea and cocoa. It has similar, though less strong, stimulating effects to the cortex (the outer levels of the brain) - allaying drowsiness and fatigue. Research during 2004, by Imperial College London, has found that theobromine (in concentrated forms) is an excellent cure for persistent coughs (much more effective than codeine, which has been used in the past). For more information, see the FASEB Journal website. See 'Caffeine'; 'Theophylline'

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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