Original Research

Ocular dynamics of Garcinia cola (Heckel) on healthy volunteers following bolus ingestion

S. A. Igwe, D. N. Akunyili
African Vision and Eye Health | South African Optometrist: Vol 66, No 1 | a202 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v66i1.202 | © 2007 S. A. Igwe, D. N. Akunyili | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 December 2007 | Published: 19 December 2007

About the author(s)

S. A. Igwe, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, College of Health Sciences, Nigeria
D. N. Akunyili, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, College of Medicine, Solomon Islands

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Garcinia cola Heckel, an angiospermae belonging to the  family Guttiferae, is known in commerce as bitter cola. It is a plant found
in the West African subregion, mostly in moist conditions, and often in association with Cola acuminata. The seeds are highly valued ingredients in African ethonomedicine. The seeds
have several social uses and applications in folk medicine. These seeds are ordinarily chewed by the local people without prescription or restriction. In an in vivo case control study, the effects of Garcinia cola on some visual functions: pupil diameter, near point of convergence (NPC), amplitude of accommodation (AA),
intraocular pressure (IOP), visual acuity (VA) and habitual phoria; following bolus ingestion of 20 g was undertaken using healthy visually active volunteers. Results showed that bolus ingestion of Garcinia cola constricted the pupil by 68%, reduced the NPC by 28%, increased the AA by 17.8% at peak effect and decreased
the intraocular pressure by 31% without affecting the distance and near VA. The lateral phoria at far and near tended towards esophoria. Possibly the miotic effect and reduction in IOP
could be of benefit to patients with raised IOP where conventional drugs may not be effective. Also it is possible that the effects on phoria could be exploited in oculomotor function in combination with visual training.


Bolus ingestion; Garcinia cola; ocular dynamics; oculomotor; intraocular pressure.


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