RESEARCH PROJECT TOPIC ON EFFECT OF COLA NITIDA AND ALLIGATOR PEPPER ON GASTRIC ACID SECRETION.
Cola nuts are obtained from cola trees growing both wild and cultivated in the equatorial rain forest belf of Nigeria and the rest of West Coast of Africa. There are two common species namely cola accuminata which is multicotyledonous and cola nitida which is dicotyledonous. The cola nitida has two subspecies, alba and rubra (white and red respectively). The cola accuminata is more popular in the Ibo and Igedde tribes of the Eastern and Middle Belt regions respectively in Nigeria, while cola nitida is preferred by the Hausa-Fulani tribes of the Northern part of Nigeria. Both cola species contain xanthines–the same type of alkaloids found in tea and coffee. Common among these xanthine derivatives are caffeine, theophylline and theobromine. These xanthines are known to stimulate gastric acid secretion. We therefore decided to find out the effect of both species of the cola on gastric acid secretion, since this has not been reported previously. We found that both cola species significantly induced gastric acid secretion. This corroborates our clinical advice to peptic ulcer patients not to eat cola nuts.