Experts have found that bitter kola is protective of many diseases such as cancer, diabetes, knee osteoarthritis (Bone softening), neurological diseases like Parkinson’s disease and cough.
A professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Toxicology, Ebenezer Farombi speaking at the Research Day 2016 of the College of Medicine, Ibadan, stated that taking two bitter kola nuts a day is able to ensure the body has enough kolaviron, its main constituent, which keeps many diseases away.
Traditionally, bitter kola is used in the treatment of liver diseases, sore throat, cough, bacterial infections and a known aphrodisiac.
Recently, many studies have provided scientific evidence that the saying “taking bitter kola a day keeps the doctor away” is in fact true. Particularly, it fences off various chronic diseases including cancer, erectile dysfunction and other diseases that involve oxidative stress and inflammation.
According to Farombi “its intrinsic antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties will prevent any disease that has oxidative stress and inflammation as an undertone.”
Antioxidants are compounds that counteract the damaging effects of free radicals. Free radicals, products of normal cell processes, can wreak havoc in their quest to hook up with other molecules, which could be lipids, protein, or DNA.
The free radicals’ actions can damage the molecules they react with, sometimes destroying them. This process is known as oxidative stress or oxidative damage.
Humans, and all animals, have complex antioxidant defence systems, but they are not perfect in fending off stress; oxidative damage will occur.
Cancer and cardiovascular diseases are thought to be in part the results of oxidative stress, so foods like apples, bitter kola and other fruits and vegetables, rich in antioxidants, may be especially helpful in warding off these diseases.
Moreover, the toxicology expert declared that kolaviron in animal studies is protective of liver problems, adding “it has been used to treat cirrhosis of the liver in an herbal home. From series of studies, we have been able to show that bitter kola and its extract are actually liver protective.