COLA (nut)


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COLA (nut)
Nut Cola; al. Kolanub; English. Kola nut.


Cola nitida is the most cultivated. It is a tree without flowers Corolla and grouped in small clusters in the armpits of the leaves or the scars foliáceas. The fruit comprises 5 follicles of thick wall, contains seeds with 4 - 8 cotyledons flat, thick and fleshy.


The gender - Cola of several species that are used (eg C. acuminata (P. Beauv. Schott. And Endl. C. verticillata (Thonn. Stapf ex A. Chev. Is concentrated in tropical and equatorial West Africa: Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Gabon.

Chemical composition.

In addition to interest - free substances (minerals, amino acids, cellulose, starch. seeds contain polyphenols and púricas bases. Polyphenols. They flava - 3 - OLESEN (5 to 10%) catechol, epicatecol and proantocianidoles group B.

Bases púricas.

Caffeine is a 2. 6 - dioxo purine (1, 3, 7 - trimethyl xanthine) structurally very similar to adenine and guanine. It is widely majority (about 1% of the fresh nut, up 2. 5% from the dried nut) and is accompanied by a small number (0. 2%) of theobromine (3, 7 - dimethyl xanthine) It has been shown that caffeine form a partnership, no doubt for links by hydrogen bridges, with derivatives catechistsand that the proportions of caffeine - free and combined vary depending on the nature of the drug: fresh, dried, stabilized. Such partnerships are common for this molecule, this is the case of the complex of caffeine and clorogenato potassium present in the seeds of green coffee and whose structure has been able to specify through crystallography.

Pharmacological data.

Caffeine is a stimulant of the central nervous system, increases the attention, speed intellectual, the association of ideas. At high doses stimulates the centers bulbares respiratory, vasomotor and vague. On the other hand, this pseudoalcaloide (for some) is vasodilator (especially coronary by direct effect predominant) and weakly hypertensive, increases the heart rate (a high dose of direct action predominates over the effect central) and respiratory rate, has a relaxing effect on smooth muscle, reduces the tubular reabsorption and increases basal metabolism and lipolysis.

It should be noted that for some of these actions is developing very rapidly in the consumer habitual tolerance and that there are marked differences. The activity on the catecholaminergic systems has been associated with increased AMP cyclical consecutive to the inhibition of phosphodiesterase. On the other hand, caffeine increases the concentration of calcium and neuronal endings that has not been ruled out direct interaction between caffeine and adenosine receptor. Most of the experiments carried out with the cola nut using ill - defined preparations.

One study, conducted in parallel with caffeine and seeds tail, shows that the effects of the behavior observed in the queue are more gradual than those obtained with caffeine and that the seeds of the tail has a specific effect on muscle tone.

Observations on the Man.

Have been published extensively on the activity of caffeine in humans, drugs and caffeine, such as coffee (which contains only caffeine thereby distorting the results and explains the differences sometimes found)

The bibliographic data on the impact of the frequent use of drinks containing caffeine are very numerous and, most times, contradictory: rarely have been obtained from observations methodical carried out according to the usual protocol of clinical trials. However, the published works are kept united on the role of caffeine in prolonging the state of wakefulness and insomnia. They note that affects not only the duration of sleep, but, by increasing the paradoxical sleep, also affects the quality of it. In fact, it can bring disruption of EEG.


The tail fresh, plays an important role in African societies, both for its use to support efforts by prolonged as the source of economic wealth it represents. In Europe, the drug is regarded as a tonic, stimulating physical and intellectual. The seed of spray glue and extracts have been used in the convalescent, in the event of prolonged fatigue and among athletes for performance. Used to moderate doses, is a little challenging harmful and long - acting. A large amount of output queue is intended for the manufacture of non - alcoholic soft drinks (Coca Cola, and others) In Spain authorizing the use of this plant in cases of functional asthenia, fatigue and weakness.


As all the bases xánticas, inhibit sleep, so it is recommended that people who suffer from insomnia, do not take it in the second half of the day. For its positive inotropic effect and its direct action on cardiac metabolism caution should be exercised in patients with hypertension.

The drug.

The seed of cola without the seed coat is hard, smooth, dark mahogany brown, almost odorless. The embryo has two cotyledons Cola nitida separate or related while other species have a folding important that makes that seem to have juxtaposed cotyledons 4 - 6. The predominant element of the drug is spray starch, which is in the form of grains ovoid with concentric striations and thread crashed.

There are numerous methods for assessing the caffeine in drugs: gravity, spectrophotometric (the method is considered by the French Pharmacopoeia, after extraction of caffeine by carbon tetrachloride in an alkaline medium, successive shots of the residue with methanol and water) or chromatographic (mainly by high - performance liquid chromatography) This technique, on the other hand, value of both simultaneously xanthines as polyphenols in preparations Galenical.



Pharmacopée traditional Senegal, Paris, Vigot frères, 1974.


Study of CAFFEIN - catechin in association Lyophilized fresh seeds and in stabilized extract of Cola nitida.

Plant Med. 51, 515 - 517, 1985.


Contribution à l'étude de graine of the Cola nitida (Vent. A. Chevalier.

Doctoral Thesis of d'Etat des Sciences pharmaceutiques, Aix - Marseille II, 1985.

R. MARTIN, T. H. Lilley, C. P. FALSHAW, E. Haslam, M. J. Begley and D. MAGNOLATO.

The caffeine - potassium chlorogenate molecular complex.

Phytochemistry, 26, 273 - 279, 1987.

The pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and uses of caffeine are described extensively in all the classic works of pharmacology.

We can cite, for example:

T. W. RALL. The xanthina. In: The pharmacological basis of therapeutics, 6th edition, A. GOODMAN - GILMAN, L. S. Et A. GOODMAN GILMAN, eds. New York, MacMillan Pub. 1980, see also: YD Lapierre et P. D. HRDINA.

Nooanaleptiques. In: Pharmacologie clinic, the basis of the Thérapeutiques, 2nd ed. JP Giroud, G. G. Mather et MEYNIEL, eds. Paris, Expansion Scientifique française, 1988.


Caffeine: perspectives from recent research, Springer Verlag, Berlin, 1984.


Effects of kola - nut extract administration on the liver, kidney, brain, testis and some serum constituents of the Rat.

J. Applied Toxicol. 1, 292 - 294, 1981.

G. Scott C. MAILLARD, J. VION - DURY, G. BALANSARD and G. Jadot.

Behavioral effects resulting from sub - chronic treatment of rats with extract of fresh stabilized tail seeds.

Pharmacol. Biochem. and Behavior, 26, 841 - 845, 1987; see also G. BALANSARD et C. MAILLARD, graine of the queue, Phytotherapy, 23) 5 - 10, 1987.


The phisiological effects of coffee consumption. In: Coffee: botany, biochemistry and production of beans and beverage. M. N. CLIFFORD et K. C. WILSON, eds. Westport, AVI Publishing Company, p. 394 - 439, 1985.


Dosage of caffeine dans les drogues plant. Comparison between the method of Pharmacopée française et une méthode par Chromatographia liquide haute performance.

Ann. Pharm. Fr. 38, 127 - 134, 1980.

F. Belliard, A. Martinelli and M. G. VALL. E.

HPLC determinations of caffeine and theophyline in Paullinia cupana Kunth (guarana) and Cola spp. samples.

Z. Lebensm. Unters. Forsch. 180, 398 - 401, 1985.


Dosage of caffeine, of théobromine of catéchine et d'epicatéchine pair Chromatographia liquide à haute performance dans un extrait of graines fraiche Stabilizer Cola.

Ann. Pharm. Fr. 44, 495 - 500, 1986.

Diseases whose treatment is appropriate in this plant.

Fatigue - Asthenia.

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