- Bitter Kola For Fertility: advantages
- Bitter kola and male fertility
- What infection can bitter kola cure?
- Effect of bitter Kola on sperm
- Side Effects Of Bitter Kola
- Bitter kola and kidneys health
- Bitter kola and high blood pressure
- Benefits of Bitter Kola on Pregnancy
- Side Effects of Bitter Kola On Pregnancy:
- BOTTOM LINE
Today, we shall explore the benefits of Bitter kola for fertility and some known side effects. It is believed to hold several pharmaceutical values and is known for its antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-cariogenic, anti‐obesity, antioxidants, and erythropoietic effects.
Although, there is limited evidence on the benefits of bitter kola for fertility, however, research shows that the intake of bitter kola may reduce the effect of oxidative stress, fight infection and improve liver functions, an organ responsible for the production of reproductive hormones, this way bitter kola can indirectly improve fertility.
Garcinia kola (bitter kola)
The real name is Garcinia kola but its bitter or astringent taste made people call it BITTER KOLA. It is largely found in African countries such as Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Gabon, and Sierra Leone. Whereas it’s scarcely in countries like DR Congo, Liberia, Central African Republic, and Ivory Coast.
Bitter kola is a powerful medicinal plant (both seed, root, and leaves) that has been used since ancient times in making remedies for several health conditions and ailments such as infection, indigestion, tooth decay, malaria, hepatitis, immune-destructive diseases, etc.
Bitter Kola For Fertility: advantages
Firstly, you should know that there is limited scientific evidence on the use of bitter kola for fertility. However, some herbal practitioners claim that using bitter kola for fertility may improve reproductive health due to its infection-fighting and antioxidant properties.
Here are a few pieces of evidence that using bitter kola for fertility may indirectly boost our reproductive health.
1. Rich in antioxidants.
A review showed that bitter kola is a rich source of two important phytochemical compounds known as tannins and flavonoids, they are believed to have antioxidants property and free radicals scavenging effect.
It’s not new, that free radicals are harmful to fertility and reproductive health due to their ability to trigger oxidative stress. Whereas oxidative stress can cause cellular damage which reduces fertility.
A related study shows that antioxidants can reduce oxidative stress resulting from the scavenging activities of reactive oxygen species (ROS). It can achieve that by hindering cell proliferation secondary to protein phosphorylation.
However, the Intake of bitter kola seed or extract may boost the function of antioxidants in our body in their fight against (ROS) reactive oxygen species.
Additionally, the flavonoid content of bitter kola has a powerful and popular compound known as biflavonoid kolaviron. A study shows that kolaviron have anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and antimicrobial property, may facilitate wound healing, and kill malaria parasites.
2. Fights Infectious diseases.
Bitter kola is known for its antifungal, antimicrobial, and antibacterial activities against microorganisms and infectious diseases detrimental to reproductive health.
Due to this, bitter kola extract is used in making several herbal remedies for treating infertility-related infections, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, etc.
3. Strengthens the Immune systems
A photochemical screening of Bitter kola shows the presence of certain vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, Calcium, Potassium, Iron, and even some nutrients such as Carbohydrates, Fat, Protein, crude fiber, and Caffeine.
According to Fact Sheet for Health Professionals, vitamin C plays an important role in the human body such;
- • Boost Immune systems function.
- • Protein metabolism.
- • Support Collagen that facilitates Wound healing.
- • Regeneration of antioxidants.
- • Promote cardiovascular health by lowering the impact of oxidative stress which is the root curse of several diseases.
No wonder bitter kola possesses several pharmaceutical values, all thanks to its rich vitamin C and antioxidant composition.
4. Enhance the production of reproductive hormone
Intake of Bitter kola may indirectly improve the production of male and female reproductive hormones necessary for fertility.
By enhancing the function of the liver which is the most vital organ responsible for the production of reproductive hormones. The current report shows that estrogen receptors in the liver are critical for maintaining fertility.
Also, a 2011 study confirms that the involvement of the liver in the regulation of fertility is well rooted in Phylogenesis — a process controlled by the liver which involves providing the gonads with important nutrients needed for the maturation of the oocyte.
The liver also ensures there is a proper response to the hormonal stimulus. In addition to this, several studies have shown that intake of bitter kola may improve liver function
5. May improve sexual function
Bitter kola contains caffeine, theobromine, and other compounds that may have stimulant effects on the body, including increased energy and alertness. These effects may indirectly improve sexual performance by increasing stamina and reducing fatigue.
A related study on the nutrient content of bitter kola reveals the presence of Vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, and B3, calcium, potassium, and iron including caffeine, which may boost energy and other important phytochemicals.
Bitter kola and male fertility
There are claims that bitter Kola possesses aphrodisiac properties which may boost libido. Although there is a lack of scientific evidence to back it up, however, It is a popular practice and belief in Nigeria that
intake of bitter kola make boost stamina and makes you last longer.
In refuting this claim, a publication in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines revealed that the claim is untrue due to a lack of science base facts to back it up.
Another study on Male Wistar rats suggests that intake of bitter kola has no substantial effect on serum level o follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), the claim is untrue.
While there is no solid evidence supporting the aphrodisiac effect of bitter kola, intake of bitter kola has other fertility benefits such as boosting liver function which controls fertility to a certain degree.
What infection can bitter kola cure?
Bitter kola possesses antifungal, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties and may help in treating infectious diseases detrimental to reproductive health.
A study reveals that bitter kola is effective against infections, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, etc.
Effect of bitter Kola on sperm
Several animal studies suggest that bitter kola may affect sperm production, however, it is not enough. Hence more scientific evidence is needed to know the real impact of bitter kola on sperm.
Side Effects Of Bitter Kola
Some of the potential side effects of bitter kola include;
1. Increased heart rate: Bitter kola contains caffeine and other stimulants that can increase heart rate and blood pressure.
2. Insomnia: The caffeine in bitter kola can also cause insomnia or difficulty sleeping.
3. Stomach upset: Bitter kola can cause stomach upset, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
4. Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to bitter kola, which can cause symptoms such as itching, hives, and difficulty breathing.
5. Interference with medications: Bitter kola can interact with certain medications, including blood thinners and antidepressants.
Bitter kola and kidneys health
Bitter kola has been traditionally used in African medicine to treat various ailments, including kidney problems and high blood pressure. However, there is limited scientific evidence to support these claims.
Is bitter kola good for kidneys? For Kidney Health Bitter kola contains antioxidants that may help to protect the kidneys from damage caused by free radicals.
It also has anti-inflammatory properties that may help to reduce inflammation in the kidneys. However, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of bitter kola in treating kidney problems.
Please do not eat bitter kola as a substitute for medical treatment for kidney problems or high blood pressure. Consult medical experts for proper medication.
Bitter kola and high blood pressure
Is bitter kola good for high blood pressure? An unconfirmed report suggests it may reduce blood pressure as it contains compounds that may help to lower blood pressure.
Another related study found that bitter kola extract was effective in reducing blood pressure in rats. However, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of bitter kola in treating high blood pressure in humans.
Selling medications for serious ailments such as high blood pressure is unsafe. it is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment.
Benefits of Bitter Kola on Pregnancy
Bitter kola is believed to have benefits for pregnant women. However, some potential side effects should be considered.
1. Boosts Immune System: Bitter kola contains antioxidants that help to boost the immune system, which is important during pregnancy to protect both the mother and the developing fetus.
2. Reduces Nausea: Pregnant women often experience nausea and vomiting, especially during the first trimester. Bitter kola has been known to help reduce these symptoms.
3. Increases Appetite: Bitter kola can also help to increase appetite, which is important during pregnancy to ensure that the mother is getting enough nutrients.
4. Reduces Inflammation: Bitter kola has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce swelling and inflammation, which is common during pregnancy.
5. Treats Respiratory Issues: Bitter kola has been used to treat respiratory issues such as coughs and colds, which can be especially beneficial during pregnancy when the immune system is weakened.
Side Effects of Bitter Kola On Pregnancy:
1. High Caffeine Content: Bitter kola contains caffeine, which can be harmful to the developing fetus if consumed in large amounts.
2. May Cause Insomnia: The caffeine in bitter kola can also cause insomnia, which can be detrimental to the health of the mother and the developing fetus.
3. May Cause Heartburn: Bitter kola can also cause heartburn, which is a common symptom during pregnancy.
4. May Cause Allergic Reactions: Some people may be allergic to bitter kola, which can cause a range of symptoms including itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
5. May Interact with Medications: Bitter kola may interact with certain medications, so it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before consuming it during pregnancy.
Overall, bitter kola can have some benefits for pregnant women, but it is important to consume it in moderation and to consult with a healthcare provider before doing so.
There is limited scientific evidence to support the claim that bitter kola has any direct benefits for fertility, sexual health, or performance.
Although bitter kola has been traditionally used in some cultures as an aphrodisiac, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. It is important to note that bitter kola should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment for sexual health issues.
JC is passionate about finding the impact of foods (feeding habits) on human fertility and reproductive health and a way to improve fertility.