Cola nitida has been in use in the eastern parts of Nigeria for the management of certain ailments and as an aphrodisiac in the management of some sexual dysfunctions. However the effects of this extract in some health parameters in human objects have not been reported. This work, then, was aimed at investigating the effect of water extracts of kola pods on lipoprotein concentrations on albino wistar rats. Rats were used in this study and they were divided into several groups and fed with a high calorie food (cow’s brain) so as to increase the blood lipoprotein concentration in the rat models. The effect of the water extracts of the sample used was compared with a known drug and the results statistically compared to ascertain the effect of the water extract on the rat models. The results of this work indicate that water extracts of cola nitida pods can be used in the management of mild lipoprotein dysfunctions thus substantiating the reasons for its use in sexual erectile functions.
Cola Nitida has been used in folk medicine as an aphrodisiac, an appetite suppressant, to treat morning sickness, migraine headache, and indigestion (Esimone et al., 2007). It has also been applied directly to the skin to treat wounds and inflammation (Newall et al., 1996)on the teeth and gums. There has also been speculations as to its use in the treatment of peptic ulcer, however, in Nigeria there is no record of the incidence of peptic ulcer.
According to Esimone (2007), cola nitida tree is native to West Africa. Cola nuts are obtained from cola trees. Cola nitida belongs to the genus cola and family steriliaceae. They are commonly used to counteract hunger and thirst; in some cases it is used to control vomiting in pregnant woman and also as a principal stimulant to keep awake and withstand fatigue by students, drivers, and other menial workers.
Lipoproteins are found in the liver and cells. The liver is the largest organ inside the body. The liver is dark reddish-brown and consists of two main lobes. There are over 300 billion specialized cells in the liver that are connected by a well organized system of “bile” ducts and blood vessels called the biliary system.
Cola husk pod has great potentials as feed ingredients (Hamzat et al., 2003). Cola tree is a tropical tree which belongs to the family of steriliaceae. It is mostly common in the rain forest region of West Africa. This crop is of socio-economic importance; there is a variety of kola species, out of which cola nitida and cola accuminata are of major economic and social importance in Nigeria. (Babafunde et al., 2001.)
According to Russelu (2005) the tree is a robust tree usually from 12m high. In South Western Nigeria where large plantation is established, I discovered that kola nitida pod husk shares several similarities with coco pod husk; both have high crude protein and low crude fibre content. Kola pod husk contains the highest value of calcium (0.60%), chloride ion (0.44%) and molybdenum (9.4ppm) (lowest value of this nutrient is observed in kola test (0.7ppm). The seeds of both cola nitida and cola accuminata, its nutritive quality have been reported cogutuga.
2.1 KOLA POD COMPONENTS
The kola pod components were found to have supportive effect on fat accumulation. Sayami et al., 2010, described that 2% caffeine powder suppresses body weight gain and fat accumulation. It also reduces triacylglycerol (TG) and total cholesterol (TC) in the liver and as well as (TG) in serum, without reducing food intake (in mice). As a result, it was shown that the combination of caffeine and catechin might be the most effective of all green tea components in suppressing fat accumulation. Body fat gain in mice fed with a high-fat diet was significantly suppressed. Catechins and MRNA expressions of acyl-con oxidase (ACO) and medium chain acyl-con dehydrogenase (MCAD), which are related to B-oxidation within the liver were upregulated. It was also demonstrated that weight gain, body fat, accumulation, TG and TC in the liver, and TG in serum were suppressed in rats fed on normal diet and water containing 0.5% catechins.
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