The health benefits of kola nut align with those of coffee.
Several possible benefits of the kola nut and its products include the following:
- Boost to metabolism: Kola nut products contain caffeine, which may give a person’s metabolism a boost.
- Aid to digestion: Kola nut powder and extract may help digestion. They are thought to promote the production of gastric acid, which increases digestive enzyme effectiveness in the stomach.
- Increase in circulation: The caffeine and theobromine in the kola nut may speed up the heart rate, which increases circulation.
- Boost to energy levels: The kola nut naturally stimulates the central nervous system, which may increase alertness and boost energy levels.
- Antibacterial benefits: One study reported in the Journal of Biosciences and Medicines indicates that the use of kola nut extract might stop the growth of harmful bacteria.
There are several health conditions that might be improved by consumption of the kola nut.
Although extensive studies have not been conducted, early research indicates that certain compounds found in the kola nut may decrease the risk of prostate cancer.
The research is still being debated, but it is thought that the phytoestrogens in kola nuts may kill cancer cells and stop tumors from growing.
People with a slow metabolism could benefit from using products that contain kola nut.
Conditions that may affect a person’s metabolism include low testosterone, Graves’ disease, and Cushing syndrome.
The kola nut may be helpful for people who have migraine headaches. Migraines often affect the blood vessels in the head and caffeine has been used for headache pain.
The theobromine and caffeine contained in the kola nut may dilate or widen blood vessels in the brain, which might decrease migraine pain.
Although it may not be recommended as a treatment for respiratory conditions, kola nuts might be useful for people with certain breathing problems, such as asthma.
The caffeine in kola nuts may act as a bronchodilator, which means it opens the airways to make breathing easier.