From the information I have gathered, it appears that Kola nut extract
may pose more health risks than benefits. I have provided snippets
from a few sites -- please visit the sites linked and read them in
"Kola nut extract is not a supplement that should be taken without
careful consideration as to its effects on the body. The FDA received
more than 100 reports of injuries and adverse reactions related to a
product containing Kola nut...reported reactions ranging from serious,
life-threatening conditions such as irregular heartbeat, heart attack,
stroke, seizures, hepatitis and psychosis, to relatively minor and
temporary conditions such as dizziness, headache, and gastrointestinal
distress. FDA and outside medical experts have determined that the
products represent a threat to health..."
"The supplement [Ephedra] was also associated with the death of high
school football player Sean Riggins who had taken Yellow Jackets, an
herbal street drug alternative that contains ephedra and kola nut
extract, a source of caffeine."
"Most of the products we found contain caffeine as well as ephedrine,
a combination the government banned in over-the-counter medicines in
1983 because of potential health risks. With some product labels, you
need an ingredient dictionary to identify the caffeine; it can appear
under names such as guarana, kola nut, maté, paullinia cupana, and tea
"Although not classified as a controlled substance, Herbal Ecstasy is
a drug composed of ephedrine (ma huang) or pseudoehedrine and caffeine
(kola nut) - stimulants that closely simulate the effects of Ecstasy.
Usually sold in tablet form, Herbal Ecstasy is known as Cloud 9,
Herbal Bliss, Ritual Spirit, Herbal X, GWM, Rave Energy and X...Due to
the lack of quality control over these products the ephedrine amounts
can vary widely."
This page also lists the physical risks as high blood pressure,
seizurse, heart attacks, strokes and "even death."
"The FDA says the product, marketed as "herbal XTC", also contains
kola nut extract that is a prominent source of caffeine. By email, the
agency warned the promoter, identified as Xoch Linnebank, that future
shipments of the product would be "detained" at the U.S. border and
denied entry. The so-called "cyber letter" stated, "There does not
appear to be any legitimate use for this product."
"FDA and outside medical experts have determined that the products
represent a threat to health because Kola nut, can cause severe injury
to people even under conditions of usual or recommended use. The FDA
issued a warning to a product made by Alliance USA and the company
reformulated the product by removing the Kola nut."
This next snippet is general Kola Nut "benefit" information from a
product page selling the extract:
"Kola Nut's main constituent is caffeine which stimulates the central
nervous system, and has antidepressant, diuretic, and astringent
qualities which have been used historically for increasing endurance,
stimulating a weak heart, nervous debility, weakness, lack of emotion,
nervous diarrhea, depression, despondency, brooding, anxiety and sea
sickness, and it may also help relieve some migraine headaches."
Because the extract contains caffeine, it is a stimulant. General
information about caffeine risks from
"Higher doses of caffeine can cause anxiety, dizziness, headaches, and
the jitters and can interfere with normal sleep. Very high doses of
caffeine - if you were to drink many cups of coffee in a day or take a
box of No-Doz - would be harmful to the body. Caffeine is addictive
and may cause withdrawal symptoms - such as severe headaches, muscle
aches, temporary depression, and irritability - for those who abruptly
stop consuming it."
It appears to me that Kola Nut extract has the potential to harm a
user because even though it is natural, it is still a stimulant.
Although stimulants can increase physical performance, they can also
be detrimental to one's health. Again, I recommend that you visit the
sites links I've provided and completely familiarize yourself with
this extract before ingesting it.
Thank you for the opportunity to answer this question. Should you
require clarification of any of the links or information I have
provided, please request it and I'll be happy to respond.
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