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Although comprehensive safety studies have not been performed, moderate amounts of cola nut are generally regarded as safe. The Council of Europe and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have approved it as a food additive. The typical side effects associated with cola nut are those of caffeine, including nervousness, heart irregularities, headaches, and sleeplessness.
Cola is not advised for individuals with stomach ulcers due both to its caffeine and its tannin content. 1 Tannins, found in many plants, are substances that can irritate the stomach.
- Ibu JO, Iyama AC, Ijije CT, et al. The effect of Cola acuminata and Cola nitida on gastric acid secretion. Scand J Gastroenterol Suppl. 1986;124:39–45.