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Using Pineapple To Heal

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One Dr Abosede Olowofoyeku, a phytotherapist, researcher in Phyto-Chemistry and the Chief Executive Officer of the Useful Herbs Naturopathy Limited gathered a large amount of pineapple leaves for a client who wanted to go for IVF.
She chose the leaves because they have a strong anti- inflammatory effect and do not interfere with the drugs used during IVF. She also said it is for improving egg quality.
Pineapple, botanically called “Ananas comosus,” contains an enzyme called bromelain which is derived from the stems, although it exists in all parts of the fresh fruit. The medicinal qualities of pineapples are attributed to bromelain.
(Bromelain) is a protein-digesting enzyme. People use it  to remove dead skin from burns and orally to reduce inflammation and swelling — particularly of the nasal passages. It is used in cosmetics and it is also used as a meat tenderiser. Its potential health benefits have been studied extensively in multiple areas. These include: Osteoarthritis, cardiovascular diabetes, asthma, chronic sinusitis colitis, burns and cancer. In fact, several studies showed that bromelain can inhibit cell growth and induce cell apoptosis (cell death) in different cancers.
Uses of Pineapple Leaves:
Now that we know what bromelain is, let us talk about pineapple leaves. It produces a white silky fiber that some cultures use to weave cloth. The extracts are rich in phenols which are compounds that according to animal studies may have potent health benefits. Other compounds of medicinal interest found in pineapple leaves include p-coumaric acid (CA), flavonoids, tannins, bromelain, glycosides, proteins and ascorbic acid. Wood is used as the major raw material in paper production around the world and this has resulted in severe deforestation. This has led to the need of finding alternative raw materials for paper production, pineapple leaves come to the rescue here. Let us see some more benefits of the leaves:
Improved blood sugar control: Certain chemical extracts from pineapple leaves are rich in phenols and may exert hypoglycemic or blood sugar lowering activity. In two studies in mice with diabetes, these phenols reduced blood sugar levels by reducing insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is when your body’s cells are less responsive to the effect of the blood sugar-lowering hormone called insulin.
Lowered blood cholesterol: The liver is one of the main organs responsible for regulating cholesterol levels in one’s body.
Promisingly, phenols extracted from pineapple leaves have shown potential for reducing blood cholesterol and hindering the development of NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) in mice. They have also been shown to prevent the increase of triglycerides in mice after a meal.  By working like statin drugs, phenolic compounds from pineapple leaves could potentially help reduce blood cholesterol.
Anti-inflammatory benefits: Inflammation is one’s body’s natural response to infection or stress. Over time, it can compromise the integrity of one’s immune system and increase the risk of certain diseases, including cancer. In one mouse study, phenols, tannins, flavonoids, glycosides, bromelain, and other compounds extracted from pineapple leaves demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties. Specifically, they stopped the action of inflammatory substances in the body produced by white blood cells, like macrophages.
Antioxidant properties: Pineapple fruit and leaves are rich in antioxidants called phenols, flavonoids, tannins, and ascorbic acid which can improve conditions associated with oxidative stress and inflammation.
Improved digestion: The digestive enzyme bromelain is found in the fruit and leaves of pineapple. Used widely as a meat tenderiser, it is an enzyme that breaks down proteins and it may aid digestion too.
I always use the peels to sweeten my Zobo drink. It can be used for animal feed (pellets and animal feed block), production of paper and fertilisers because of the high-fiber and cellulose content. Composting transforms it into nutrient-rich material that can be used in the garden to improve soil texture and fertilise plants.
Let us see some of its benefits
· The peel has bromelain which is a powerful enzyme. It is anti-inflammatory in nature. It can be used to reduce swellings.
· It is also believed to help with digestion. It is said that the peels can fight intestinal parasites and help with constipation.
· If you are looking to boost immunity, you must consider the pineapple peel. Like the fruit, the peel is rich in vitamin C which can build the overall immunity of the body, fight bacteria and help with coughing.
· It can also be a teeth and bone strengthener since it is rich in manganese. It is great for oral health, because vitamin C can keep the gums healthy.
· The enzyme bromelain can prevent the clotting of blood too. In fact, it can even make the blood healthier, by helping with the formation of more red blood cells.
Scientific studies
In a study titled, “Evaluation of acute anti-inflammatory effect of Ananas comosus leaf extracts in rats,’’ by Mondal et al, the study assessed the chloroform and methanol extracts of A. comosus leaf for their acute anti-inflammatory potential by carrageenan induced paw oedema in Wistar albino rats. All of the test extracts exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity. The methanol extract was found to be the most potent followed by the chloroform extract.
In a study titled, “Pineapple peel wastes (PPW) as a potential source of antioxidant compounds by Saraswaty et al, the results showed PPW contained phenolic compound, ferulic acid, vitamin A and C as antioxidants. Both dried and fresh PPW were extracted using mixtures of ethanol and water with various concentrations and the highest antioxidant activity was in the water extract.
In a study titled, “Ameliorating hyperglycemia by Ananas comosus leaves extract,’’ by Atiq Ur Rahman, study was carried out on 20 male rats. Rats were provided with A. comosus leaves extract for 35 days. Serum samples were collected to check the level of serum glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, AST, ALP, ALT, uric acid, urea and creatinine. Results indicated that A. comosus leaves have anti-diabetic properties and do not possess any harmful effect on kidney and liver.
To make pineapple peel tea, put the peels in a pot. You can also add cloves, ginger and cinnamon sticks. Add some water and allow it to brew for some 15 minutes on low flame. Turn it off and let it steep for another 15 minutes. Your peel tea is ready. Another way is to boil the peels, let it cool down. Blend it, sieve and drink. To make pineapple leaf tea, just boil it and then drink the water. If you are able to get a large amount of pineapple leaves, spread somewhere in the house, it will dry on its own. Then, you can take it to boil from time to time. Make sure you wash your pineapples well before peeling.

Culled from The Punch online.

 

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Research Shows Obesity Rising Worldwide

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A new research has shown that more than a billion people are living with obesity around the world as published in The Lancet show.
The figures includes about 880 million adults and 159 million children, according to 2022 data.
The highest rates are in Tonga and American Samoa for women and American Samoa and Nauru for men, with some 70-80% of adults living with obesity.
Out of some 190 countries, the United Kingdom ranks 55th highest for men and 87th for women.
The international team of scientists say there is an urgent need for major changes in how obesity is tackled.
Obesity can increase the risk of developing many serious health conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
Ranking global obesity rates (the percentage of population classed as obese, after age differences are accounted for), researchers found:
The US comes 10th highest for men and 36th highest for women
India ranks 19th lowest for women and 21st lowest for men
China is 11th lowest for women and 52nd lowest for men
Chart showing obesity data
Senior researcher Prof Majid Ezzati, of Imperial College London, told the BBC: “In many of these island nations it comes down to the availability of healthy food versus unhealthy food.
“In some cases there have been aggressive marketing campaigns promoting unhealthy foods, while the cost and availability of healthier food can be more problematic.”
Prof Ezzati, who has been looking at global data for years, says he is surprised at the speed the picture has changed, with many more countries now facing an obesity crisis, while the number of places where people being underweight is regarded as the biggest concern, has decreased.

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Five Die As Cholera Hits Lagos

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Not fewer than five people are reportedly dead and 60 others hospitalised following a deadly Cholera outbreak in Lagos.
Already the state government is calling for heightened vigilance and adoption of precautionary measures.
The state government in a statement yesterday urged the need to ensure that the disease is not spread, saying that an excess of severe gastroenteritis cases had been reported in Lagos in the last 48 hours.
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi disclosed that cases of severe gastroenteritis had been reported in communities around Eti Osa, Lagos Island, Ikorodu and Kosofe LGA, resulting in about 60 hospital admissions, and sadly five deaths had been recorded mainly from patients presenting late with extreme dehydration.
“We have activated a statewide heightened surveillance and response. The Ministry of Health Directorate of Environmental Health and the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) have been alerted to investigate a possible water contamination source in the Lekki Victoria Island axis.

“We suspect a possible cholera outbreak; however, samples have been taken for confirmation. As of April 28, 2024, Nigeria reported 815 suspected cholera cases and 14 deaths across 25 states,” he said.
The Commissioner noted that following recent rains, Lagos State has seen a notable increase in cases of severe vomiting and watery stools, adding that urban slums and crowded areas with poor sanitation were particularly at risk.
Abayomi explained that cholera is a highly contagious disease that caused severe diarrhea and could be life-threatening, adding that it posed a significant health burden in areas with poor water treatment and sanitation, and could impact Lagos State.
“Cholera spreads through direct transmission by eating or drinking contaminated food or water, and indirect transmission due to poor sanitation and lack of handwashing. Symptoms of cholera include severe watery diarrhea, vomiting, rapid dehydration, muscle cramps, fever and sometimes collapse,” he said.
According to him, treatment options for cholera include rehydration using Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) for mild to moderate dehydration, saying that intravenous fluids is used for severely dehydrated patients given only in medical facilities and supervised by medical personnel.
“To prevent cholera, citizens are urged to ensure safe drinking water by boiling, chlorinating, or using bottled water, and avoiding ice products made from untreated water. Maintaining proper sanitation by using toilets, safely disposing of faeces, and avoiding open defecation crucial.
“Practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands with soap and clean water regularly, especially before eating, preparing food, and after using the toilet, is essential and following food safety guidelines,” the Commissioner advised.
He enjoined citizens to rely on the Lagos State Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and accredited local health facilities for guidance, advice, and updates on prevention, treatment, and management.
He added that suspected cases could be reported via the following emergency hotlines: 08023169485, 08137412348, or by using helplines 767 or 112.

Kevin Nengia

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WHO Raises Alarm Over Viral Hepatitis Epidemics, STIs

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) says viral hepatitis epidemics and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are causes of  2.5 million deaths each annually.
According to a new WHO report titled,” Implementing the Global Health Sector Strategies on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Infections, 2022–2030,” STIs are increasing in many regions.
In 2022, WHO had targetted of reducing the annual number of adult syphilis infections by ten-fold by 2030, from 7.1 million to 0.71 million, but new syphilis cases among adults aged 15-49 years increased by over 1 million in 2022 reaching 8 million. The highest increases occurred in the Region for the Americas and the African region.
Combined with insufficient decline seen in the reduction of new HIV and viral hepatitis infections, the report expressed doubt  to the attainment of the related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
“The rising incidence of syphilis raises major concerns”, said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Fortunately, there has been important progress on a number of other fronts including in accelerating access to critical health commodities including diagnostics and treatment.
The WHO DG said tools required to curb these epidemics as public health threats by 2030 are available, but that there’s need to ensure that, in the context of an increasingly complex world, countries do all they can to achieve the ambitious targets they set themselves”.
Increasing incidence of sexually transmitted infections four curable STIs – syphilis (Treponema pallidum), gonorrhea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae), chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis), and trichomoniasis (Trichomonas vaginalis) – account for over 1 million infections daily.
The report notes a surge in adult and maternal syphilis (1.1 million) and associated congenital syphilis (523 cases per 100 000 live births per year) during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, there were 230 000 syphilis-related deaths.
New data also show an increase in multi-resistant gonorrhoea. As at 2023, out of 87 countries where enhanced gonorrhoea antimicrobial resistance surveillance was conducted, 9 countries reported elevated levels (from 5percent to 40percent) resistance to ceftriaxone, the last line treatment for gonorrhoea. WHO is monitoring the situation and has updated its recommended treatment to reduce the spread of this multi-resistant gonorrhoea strain.
In 2022, around 1.2 million new hepatitis B cases and nearly 1 million new hepatitis C cases were recorded. The estimated number of deaths from viral hepatitis rose from 1.1 million in 2019 to 1.3 million in 2022 despite effective prevention, diagnosis, and treatment tools.
New HIV infections only reduced from 1.5 million in 2020 to 1.3 million in 2022. Five key population groups men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, sex workers, transgender individuals, and individuals in prisons and other closed settings still experience significantly higher HIV prevalence rates than the general population.

By: Kevin Nengi

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