Eating vegetables prevents diabetes, hypertension, ulcer – Biochemist

Professor Rotimi Arise of the Department of Biochemistry, University of Ilorin, has urged Nigerians to consume more indigenous fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts in their daily diet to build more antibodies to prevent and protect them against diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and ulcer.

Arise made the call in his inaugural lecture, noting that the consumption of indigenous fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts which are rich in antioxidants, short peptides and micronutrients is quite beneficial to health.

Speaking on the theme, “Modulating The Mediators Of Life Processes: The Strategic Place Of Enzymes in Health And Wellness” while delivering the 228th inaugural lecture at the university, Arise warned against the practice of concurrent intake of drugs such as antibiotics with alcohol.

He explained that the result of research on the effects of co-administration of antibiotics widely used to cure negative infections and ethanol on some biochemical parameters of a rat kidney may be exerting some toxicity on the kidney.

According to him, the result revealed a significant reduction in the kidney lactate dehydrogenase activity as well as elevated serum urea, total protein and cholesterol levels.

“We concluded that concurrent intake of alcohol with antibiotics is toxic to the kidney and the body as a whole.

“These findings also suggest that the prolonged administration of ivermectin and albendazole may be toxic to the liver, kidney and brain cells.

“The general public is hereby advised against the practice of concurrent intake of drugs such as antibiotics with alcohol, and the use of galena (tiro) as well as exposure of skin to used lubricating oil because of the danger or harm inherent in the practice,” he said.

He said that another result of their investigation provided evidence that vitamin E positively modulated the negative effects of the combined administration of ivermectin and albendazole in rats.

He said, “our common indigenous fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts are very rich in antioxidants, short peptides and micronutrients.

“Studies have also shown that they are good modulators of relevant enzymes with the potential to prevent and protect against diseases like diabetes, hypertension and ulcer.

“Ewedu (Corchoris olitorius) leaves have potent blood sugar modulatory and immune-boosting activities.

”I, therefore, recommend its increased, regular and general consumption, also recommended that the inclusion of fresh ‘Telfara occidentalis’ (fluted pumpkin (Ugu) fruits and leaves and watermelon seeds as components of fresh vegetable salads especially for pre-diabetics and diabetics because of their potent and safe blood sugar modulatory ability.”

The professor of Biochemistry urged the general public to cultivate a regular intake of cashew nuts both at home and in the office because its blood sugar and pressure modulatory capacity as well as egg, yoghurt, and foods that are good sources of taurine and Vitamin E.

The don disclosed that his team had also investigated some medicinal plants commonly used for the management of some health conditions to provide baseline safety data about their ability to either positively or negatively modulate metabolic life processes.

Arise said, “Biochemistry is the pivot of all life sciences. The equipment for teaching, training and research is capital-intensive.

“Thus the need for adequate funding and provision of adequate equipment for laboratories and classrooms to boost education.

The don, however, urged industries and companies in the pharmaceutical, food, and drinks to fund research as part of their corporate social responsibility.

He said that government agencies such as NAFDAC, and SON, among others, should do more in their regulatory efforts to subject new products to standard toxicological evaluation procedures.


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