…tasks African countries to properly identify underutilised plant food in disease control strategies
A Professor of Medical biochemistry in the Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti (EKSU), Professor Olayinka Anthony Awoyinka, has discovered medical treatments to combat non-communicable metabolic disorders such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension.
The Professor highlighted these treatments while delivering the 80th Inaugural lecture of the Institution, titled “Exploring underutilised local fibre: Panacea for economical and healthy foods.”
He noted that well controlled diets with the use of probiotics and prebiotics from neglected underutilised local plants can serve as a major non-pharmacologic for the treatment of non-communicable metabolic disorder such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension.
According to him, he made the discovery while examining the characteristic features of over one hundred Nigerian maize cultivars obtained from International Institute of tropical agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan.
Professor Awoyinka added that the empirical data established have practicals in food and allied industries in which any of the maize cultivars could be preferentially exploited to useful products for human consumption.
“Positive results obtained from my studies with other researchers prove that well controlled diets with use of probiotics and prebiotics from neglected underutilised local plants can serve as a major non-pharmacologic for the treatment of non-communicable metabolic disorder such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension.” He added
He also charged the Federal government of Nigeria and other African countries to recognise underutilised plant food in disease control strategies, adding that it’s what developed countries like China and India have done to commercialise the bioactive compounds derived from their medical food plants such as nautraceuticals.
“Nigeria and other African countries need to do more to properly identify, recognise and position underutilised plant food in our disease control strategies.
“This is what countries like China and India have done to commercialise the bioactive compounds derived from their medical food plants such as nautraceuticals.”
While rolling out strategies on how to control disease management, he charged Researchers to:
“Conduct ethno botanical surveys to document underutilized local fibre because a lot of information can be gathered orally from the Locals.
“Collaborate with higher Institution to explore the underutilised plants with adequate funding to carry out the research.
“Strengthen and give priority to elucidation of the mechanism of action for biologically active extracts from the fibres in clinical investigations.”