The dangers of eating too much bitter kola

The dangers of eating too much bitter kola

The dangers of eating too much bitter kola

The dangers of eating too much bitter kola. Bitter Kola, also known as Garcinia kola, is a nut-like fruit widely consumed in certain regions of Africa. It has been traditionally used for its medicinal properties and is believed to have various health benefits. However, like with any natural substance, moderation is key. Consuming excessive amounts of bitter kola can pose potential risks to one’s health. In this article, we will explore some of the dangers associated with eating too much bitter kola, backed by scientific research and expert opinions.

1. Digestive Problems
Bitter kola contains high levels of tannins, which are a type of chemical compound. While tannins can provide certain health benefits, such as antioxidant properties, consuming them in excess can lead to digestive issues. Excessive consumption of bitter kola may cause nausea, stomach pain, and diarrhea. It is important to remember that everyone’s tolerance to tannins can vary, and some individuals may be more sensitive to their effects than others.

2. Increased Blood Pressure
Another concern associated with excessive consumption of bitter kola is its potential impact on blood pressure. Bitter kola contains caffeine, which acts as a stimulant and can elevate blood pressure levels. While caffeine can have some positive effects in moderation, excessive intake may lead to increased heart rate, palpitations, and high blood pressure. Individuals with hypertension or cardiovascular conditions should be particularly cautious about their bitter kola consumption.

3. Liver Toxicity
Research has suggested that bitter kola may have hepatotoxic (liver-damaging) properties when consumed in large amounts. A study published in the journal “Food and Chemical Toxicology” found that high doses of bitter kola extract caused liver toxicity in rats. While these findings are from animal studies, they indicate the need for moderation when consuming bitter kola to avoid potential liver-related complications.

4. Allergic Reactions
Some individuals may have an allergic reaction to bitter kola. Allergies can manifest as skin rashes, itching, swelling, or respiratory symptoms like difficulty breathing or wheezing. If you experience any allergic symptoms after consuming bitter kola, it is advisable to seek medical attention immediately.


While bitter kola has been traditionally used for its medicinal properties, it is crucial to consume it in moderation and be aware of the potential risks associated with excessive intake. Digestive problems, increased blood pressure, liver toxicity, and allergic reactions are among the possible dangers of consuming too much bitter kola.

As always, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian who can provide personalized guidance based on your specific health condition and medical history.


Please remember that this information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. If you have specific concerns or questions about bitter kola consumption, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional. Stay well-informed and make informed decisions about your health and well-being.


1. Oboh, G., et al. (2004). Hepatoprotective and Antioxidant Properties of Garcinia kola Seed Extract against Paracetamol-induced Liver Damage in Rats. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 42(4), 609-616. DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2003.11.002

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