Bitter kola and kola nut use and their effect on treatment outcome on People Living with HIV at a Military Hospital in Benue state Nigeria: Bitter kola (Garcinia) and Cola nut (Cola nitida among PLWHIV

Bitter kola (Garcinia) and Cola nut (Cola nitida among PLWHIV

Elias Aniwada
a:1:{s:5:"en_US";s:69:"Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Enugu, Nigeria";}
Godian Ezema
Centre for Infectious Diseases Control, 161 NAF Hospital Makurdi, Benue , Nigeria
  • Articles
  • Submited: February 21, 2022
  • Published: July 1, 2022


Introduction Bitter Kola (Garcinia Kola) and kola nut, contains substances  attributed to numerous effects on humans including anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic properties, anti-infective and caffeinism. This study explores Bitter kola and kola nut use and its impact on treatment outcome on People Living with HIV (PLWHIV).

Methods: The study was conducted at a Military Hospital in Nigeria. An analytical cross-sectional study was done using questionnaire among 700 HIV-positive clients selected using simple random sampling. Data were collected by researcher and three trained assistants. Chi-square test and binary logistic regression were used for identifying associations and predictors, respectively. The level of significance was set at p < 0.05.

Results: Findings show that 260 (63.6%) and 179 (25.6%) have ever and currently used Bitter kola/Kola nut, respectively. Also, 14 (7.8%) used Bitter kola/Kola nut alone while 165 (92.2%) used it in addition to other substances, especially with alcohol 123 (68.7%). Bitter kola use was associated with age (p = 0.037), gender (p < 0.001), occupation (p = 0.001), and number of children (p < 0.011). Identified predictors were being a female (AOR 0.79; 95% CI 0.08-0.92) and earning <18,000 Naira (AOR 2.91; 95% CI 2.03-21.54). There was no association of Bitter kola/kola nut use with CD4 count and viral load suppression.

Conclusion: Though Kola nut and Bitter kola use was high as in the general population we have not found any effect on treatment outcome among PLWHIV. This calls for more research to ascertain if there are other possible beneficial effects on PLWHIV.


Download data is not yet available.


  1. Jacob JO. Proximate and Mineral Compositions of Different Species of Kola nuts Scholars Research Library. Eur J Appl Eng
  2. Sci Res. 2012;1(3):44-47. doi:ISSN: 2278-0041.
  3. Adesuyi AO, Elumm IK, Adaramola FB, Nwokocha AGM. Nutritional and phytochemical screening of Garcinia kola. Adv J
  4. Food Sci Technol. 2012;4(1):9-14.
  5. Abarikwu SO. Kolaviron, a natural flavonoid from the seeds of Garcinia kola, reduces LPS-induced inflammation in macrophages by combined inhibition of IL-6 secretion, and inflammatory transcription factors, ERK1/2, NF-κB, p38, Akt, p-c-JUN and JNK. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014;1840(7):2373-2381. doi:10.1016/j.bbagen. 2014.03.006.
  6. Ebomoyi MI, Okojie AK. Review Article Physiological mechanisms underlying the use of Garcinia Kola Heckel in the
  7. treatment of asthma. African J Respir Med. 2012;8(1):5-8.
  8. Ogunlade I, Awosanmi IA, Osukoya OA. Antioxidant activity and total phenolic content of some nuts commonly consumed
  9. in South-Western Nigeria. J Phytopharm. 2014;3(4):248-253.
  10. Farombi EO, Owoeye O. Antioxidative and chemopreventive properties of Vernonia amygdalina and Garcinia biflavonoid.
  11. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2011;8(6):2533- 2555. doi:10.3390/ijerph8062533
  12. Farombi EO, Shrotriya S, Surh Y-J. Kolaviron inhibits dimethyl nitrosamine-induced liver injury by suppressingCOX-2 and
  13. iNOS expression via NF-κB and AP-1. Life Sci. 2009;84(5-6):149-155. doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2008.11.012.
  14. Tweneme O, Oluwole ET, Kabiru U, et al. An investigation of the hepatoprotective potential of Garcinia kola seed extract in
  15. an anti-tubercular treatment model. J Med Plants Res. 2014;8(38):1156-1163. doi:10.5897/JMPR2014.5479.
  16. Wegwu MO, Didia BC. Hepatoprotective effects of Garcinia kola seed against hepatotoxicity induced by carbon
  17. tetrachloride in rats. BIOKEMISTRI. 2007;19(1):17-21. Accessed October 26, 2016.
  18. Afolabi OC, Ogunsola FT, Coker AO. Susceptibility of cariogenic Streptococcus mutans to extracts of Garcinia kola,
  19. Hibiscus sabdariffa, and Solanum americanum. West Afr J Med. 2008;27(4):230-233.
  20. Accessed October 26, 2016.
  21. Obiazi HA, Ebadan MI, Akpe AR, Okodua MA, Igere B. In vitro antibiotic activity of Garcinia kola extract on clinical
  22. isolates from Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Esan Central Local Government Area, Edo State. Archives of Biomedical
  23. Sciences and the Health. 2014;2(1):35-43
  24. Ogbadoyi EO, Kabiru AY, Omotosho RF. Preliminary Studies of the Antitrypanosomal Activity of Garcinia kola nut
  25. Extract in Mice Infected with Trypanosoma brucei brucei. J Med Med Sci Vol. 2011;2(January):628-631.
  26. Ayepola OR, Chegou NN, Brooks NL, Oguntibeju OO. Kolaviron, a Garcinia biflavonoid complex ameliorates
  27. hyperglycemia-mediated hepatic injury in rats via suppression of inflammatory responses. BMC Complement Altern Med.
  28. ;13:363. doi:10.1186/1472- 6882-13-363.
  29. Chinedu I, Uhegbu FO, Imo KC, Imo GN, Osuocha KU, Ibe C. Acute administration of aqueous extract of Garcinia kola on
  30. daily blood glucose level and selected biochemical indices in longevity wistar albino rats. Int J Microbiol Mycol IJMM.
  31. ;1(2):7-12.
  32. Adaramoye O, Nwaneri V, Anyanwu K, Farombi E, Emerole G. Possible anti-atherogenic effect of kolaviron (a Garcinia
  33. kola seed extract) in hypercholesterolaemic rats. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2005;32(1-2):40-46. doi:10.1111/j.1440-
  34. 2005.04146.x.
  35. Ijomone OM, Obi AU. Kolaviron, isolated from Garcinia kola, inhibits acetylcholinesterase activities in the hippocampus
  36. and striatum of wistar rats. Ann Neurosci. 2013;20(2):42-46. doi:10.5214/ans.0972.7531.200203.
  37. Esimone CO, Nworu CS, Adikwu MU, Odimegwu DC, Ezugwu CO. The effect of a new adaptogen, Garcinia kola seed, on
  38. the bioavailability of ofloxacin in humans. Sci Res Essay. 2007;2(11):482-485.
  39. Accessed October 27, 2021.
  40. Adebayo S., Oladele OI. Medicinal Values of Kolanut in Nigeria: Implication for Extension Service Delivery Adebayo. Life
  41. Sci J. 2012;9(2):887-891.
  42. Asogwa SE. Letters to the Editor: Kola Nut and Road Traffic Accidents in Nigeria. AJPH. 1978;68(12):1228.
  43. Nyamien Y, Adje F, Niamké F, Chatigre O, Adima A, Biego GH. Caffeine and Phenolic Compounds in Cola nitida ( Vent .) 20. Schott and Endl and Garcinia kola Heckel Grown in Côte d ’ Ivoire. Br J Appl Sci Technol. 2014;4(35):4846-4859.
  44. doi:10.9734/BJAST/2014/11561.
  45. Babalola C, Kolade Y, Adeyemo M, et al. Effect of Caffeine-Containing Beverages on Physicochemical and Release
  46. Properties of Halofantrine. Glob J Med Res B Pharma, Drug Discov Toxicol Med. 2014;14(1).
  47. Kolade YT, Babalola CP, Olaniyi AA, Scriba GKE. Effect of kolanut on the pharmacokinetics of the antimalarial drug
  48. halofantrine. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2008;64(1):77-81. doi:10.1007/s00228-007-0387-0.
  49. Ewenighi C, Dimkpa U, Onoh L, Onoh G, Ezeugwu U, Dibia J. Chronic kola nut consumption and its effect on uric acid
  50. level and lipid profile. J Mol Pathophysiol. 2016;5:1-5.
  51. Nawrot P, Jordan S, Eastwood J, Rotstein J, Hugenholtz A, Feeley M. Effects of caffeine on human health. Food Addit Contam. 2003;20(1):1-30. doi:10.1080/0265203021000007840.
  52. Endrini S, Rahmat A, Ismail P, Taufiq-Yap YH, Othman F. Effects of cola nut (Cola nitida) on the apoptotic cell of human
  53. breast carcinoma cell lines. J Med Plants Res. 2011;5(11):2393-2397.
  54. Yunusa M, Obembe A, Ibrahim T, Njoku C. Prevalence and specific psychosocial factors associated with substance use
  55. and psychiatric morbidity among patients with HIV infection at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto
  56. State, Nigeria. Afr J Drug Alcohol Stud. 2011;10(1). doi:10.4314/ajdas.v10i1.
  57. Dar B, Elizabeth O. Classification of Frequency Abused Drugs amongst Nigerian Youth and the Social Influences :
  58. Implications for. AFRREV STECH. 2012;1(3):161-177.
  59. Adeyemo F, Ohaeri B, Okpala PU, Oghale O. Prevalence of Drug Abuse Amongst University Students in Benin City,
  60. Nigeria. Public Heal Res. 2016;6(2):31-37. doi:10.5923/j.phr.20160602.01
  61. Goar S, Audu M, Agbir M, Dochalson E. Prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of alcohol use disorders among
  62. HIV patients. Afr J Drug Alcohol Stud. 2011;10(1).
  63. Farley J, Miller E, Zamani A, et al. Screening for Hazardous Alcohol Use and Depressive Symptomatology Among HIV-
  64. Infected Patients in Nigeria: Prevalence, Predictors, and Association With Adherence John. J Int Assoc Physicians AIDS
  65. Care. 2010;9(4):218-226. doi:10.1177/1545109710371133.Screening
  66. Aleke CO, Nwimo IO. Extent of Stimulant Drugs Abuse among Secondary School Students in Ebonyi State , Nigeria. Dev
  67. Ctry Stud. 2015;5(18):35-40.
  68. Cushnie TP, Lamb AJ. Antimicrobial activity of flavonoids. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2005;26:343
  69. Adebayo S., Oladele OI. Medicinal Values of Kolanut in Nigeria: Implication for Extension Service Delivery Adebayo. Life
  70. Sci J. 2012;9(2):887-891.
  71. Kolade YT, Babalola CP, Olaniyi AA, Scriba GKE. Effect of kolanut on the pharmacokinetics of the antimalarial drug
  72. halofantrine Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2008;64(1):77-81 doi:10.1007/s00228-007- 0387-0
How to Cite
Aniwada, E., & Ezema, G. (2022). Bitter kola and kola nut use and their effect on treatment outcome on People Living with HIV at a Military Hospital in Benue state Nigeria: Bitter kola (Garcinia) and Cola nut (Cola nitida among PLWHIV. Ethiopian Medical Journal, 60(3). Retrieved from

Send mail to Author

Send Cancel