Daily intake of bitter leaf has been found to help check weight gain.
Bitter leaf is a common Nigeria’s indigenous staples as it is used as spice in food and vegetable in soups. Recent discovery by researchers say it may help to promote weight loss and lower bad cholesterol levels in the blood by decreasing the amount of dietary fat that is absorbed in the intestines.
In a new study, adding bitter leaf to the diet had a lowering effect on bad and total cholesterol concentration at both 5% and 10% dietary incorporation levels under laboratory conditions in animals.
Administration of methanol extract of Vernonia colorata at 1000mg/kg and 200mg/kg significantly downregulated weight gain in animals fed a high-fat diet relative to the untreated group that was fed a high-fat diet only.
Experts, in the study, said bitter leaf may be useful in weight loss regimen, reducing dietary obesity and also serve as a potential drug lead in the search for natural products for the treatment of diseases associated with dyslipidemia, a condition in which there is abnormally high cholesterol or fat in the blood.
The study assessed the effect of feeding both a high-fat diet (HFD) and methanol extracts of Vernonia colorata (MEVC) on lipid profile (amount of cholesterol and fat in the blood) and body weight changes in 30 Wistar albino male rats aged between 10 and 12 weeks.
It was in the 2021 edition of the journal, Biokemistri. It involved Ijeoma Nina Eke-Ogaranya and Anthony Chibuzor Nnamudi at the PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, in collaboration with Ifeoma Irene Ijeh at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia.
Different amounts of the extract of Vernonia colorata were administered orally on a daily basis. Body weight was measured weekly while the amount of cholesterol and fat in the blood was measured at the end of the study which lasted for 10 weeks.
The study found that the bad cholesterol and fat lowering effects of extracts of Vernonia colorata were similar to Orlistat, the drug designed to treat obesity. It also resulted in a dose-dependent decrease of 22.2% and 15.8% in body weight of animals that were administered 1000mg/kg and 200mg/kg of methanol extract relative to a 12.5% decrease in the Orlistat group.
There was a significant decrease in LDL cholesterol concentration upon concomitant feeding of a high-fat diet and administration of methanol extract of Vernonia colorata relative to the high-fat diet control group.
Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity is not just a cosmetic concern; it is a medical problem that increases the risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers. High-fat foods rich in cholesterol and triacylglycerols have been implicated in these conditions.
Although there are genetic, behavioural, metabolic and hormonal influences on body weight, obesity occurs when there is overeating, especially in high-fat foods and physical inactivity. So, many therapies, therefore, target achieving weight reduction through dietary modulation.
Vernonia colorata is a perennial shrub that is found throughout Central and West Africa. It has broader, wildly hairy leaves and it is less bitter-tasting than Vernonia amygdalina. Hence, it can be described as a sweet-bitter leaf due to its characteristic non-bitter taste.
Vernonia colorata is similar to Vernonia amygdalina (commonly referred to bitter leaf, onugbu or ewuro), in appearance and nutrient content. They share many of the vernacular names and uses are the same.
Bitter leaf is commonly used in traditional medicine. Leaf decoctions are used to treat fever, malaria, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis and cough as a laxative and as a fertility inducer. They are also used as medicine for scabies, headache and stomach-ache. In Nigeria, its leaves are placed on a wound as a substitute for iodine.
Lemon Juice and Diabetes — Experts
It is not easy to control blood sugar. Many diabetics have difficulty regulating the amount of sugar in their blood, leaving them at greater risk of headaches and lethargy as well as future heart attacks and nerve damage. But a new study found that lemon juice, not tea, can help to modify how food is digested and to reduce sugar spikes after meals.
In the study, the researchers tested the impact of black tea and lemon juice on the glycemic response to bread and subsequent energy intake in healthy adults. They gave equal portions of bread (100 g) and 250 ml of water, black tea or lemon juice and later measured their blood glucose concentrations.
The researchers noted that tea had no effect on the glycemic response but lemon juice significantly lowered the mean blood glucose concentration peak by 30 per cent. It delayed more than 35 minutes. None of the tested beverages had an effect on the energy available for the body to use all the time as reported in the European Journal of Nutrition.
The researchers stated: “the effect of lemon juice was similar to what has been repeatedly observed with vinegar and other acidic foods. Including acidic beverages or foods in starchy meals thus appears to be a simple and effective strategy to reduce their glycemic impact.”
The researchers stated in the European Journal of Nutrition that “the effect of lemon juice was similar to what has been repeatedly observed with vinegar and other acidic foods. Including acidic beverages or foods in starchy meals thus appears to be a simple and effective strategy to reduce their glycemic impact.”
To fuel the body, starch in food is broken down into sugars by enzymes in saliva, first in the mouth and then the stomach. Further conversion happens in the intestine and liver to produce glucose that is transported around the body via the bloodstream.
The hormone insulin plays a vital role in helping cells refuel with sugar. Blood sugar levels rise in diabetics when the body either does not produce enough insulin or if it is overwhelmed with large amounts of glucose. An unruly blood sugar levels set the stage for a host of complications if left untreated.
Diet plays a role in managing blood sugar levels. There is increasing evidence, however, that certain foods can help lower glucose.
The inhibition of enzymes that breaks down the starch in food during digestion could constitute an opportunity to slow down the release, and ultimately the uptake, of starch-derived glucose in the stomach, hence preventing a spike in blood sugar level.
Lemon juice, which is packed with polyphenols, is often mixed with water to help flush toxins out of the body. It is a miracle potion for those looking to shed some extra pounds and a go-to drink after a nasty hangover.
Also in another study, researchers from Université Paris-Saclay discovered that lemon juice slows the body’s digestion system, suppressing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar and therefore suggested that by adding lemon juice to their mealtimes, diabetics could help level off the spikes in blood sugar that affect their daily lives. It was published in the journal Food Chemistry.
According to them, “lemon juice had a remarkable effect. The results provide a strong biochemical rationale for the development of dietary strategies to improve the glycaemic impact of starch-rich diet.”
The research had assessed how different drinks influence the actions of the salivary enzymes in breaking down starch at the start of that chain. Laboratory experiments recreated conditions in the stomach with bread digested in the presence of black tea, green tea, coffee, wine, vinegar and lemon juice.
The enzymes were seen to slow down markedly in the acidic conditions provided by teas, wine and vinegar, but tended to recover their efficacy over the subsequent 30 to 60 minutes.
However, when pH levels dropped below 2.5, as with lemon juice, there was a “complete interruption of starch hydrolysis during the gastric phase of digestion.”
Researchers believe that lemon juice intake may reduce blood sugar levels spikes in a small time frame of 45 minutes. They stated that those who drank lower amounts of lemon juice also had lower blood glucose than those who drank none. The difference, however, was not significant.
They recruited 12 subjects, all aged between 20 to 30 years, who were divided into three different groups.
The first control group ate 200 grammes of cooked rice, while a second group was given 15 grammes of lemon juice, followed by 200 grammes of cooked rice. The third group of participants was given 30 grammes of lemon juice followed by 200 grammes of cooked rice.
Lemon juice was mixed with water, and all subjects were instructed to eat food within 10 minutes of drinking their beverage. They all had their blood sugar levels measured at zero, 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120 minutes after consumption.
Lemon water may not directly impact the blood sugar levels, causing it to come down, but it is packed with soluble fibres, which also help keep the heart healthy by regulating cholesterol and stabilising blood pressure.
Squeezing lemon juice and drinking it with water may not amount to your daily recommended intake of fibre or vitamin C. But it is dubbed by American Diabetes Association as “Diabetes Superfood” because it is full of fibre, vitamin C, folate and potassium, which would help benefit a healthy diabetic diet.
Adapted from the Nigerian Tribune
By Kevin Nengia
Hypertension Treatment To Cut Down Death,WHO Assures
The World Health Organisation(WHO) yeasterday released its first report on the global impact of high blood pressure, assuring that with treatment improvement life expectancy may rise in 2050.
The dangerous effects of high blood pressure are highlighted in a new report by the World Health Organisation that identifies the condition as one of the world’s leading risk factors for death and disability.
WHO’s first report on the global impact of high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, offers recommendations on ways to combat the “silent killer.”
Hypertension, categorized as a blood pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg or higher, affects 1 in 3 adults worldwide, according to the report. It commonly leads to a number of other health problems including stroke, heart attack, heart failure and kidney damage.
Aspirin can help reduce risk of second heart attack, but study finds less than half of eligible adults take it
“Hypertension can be controlled effectively with simple, low-cost medication regimens, and yet only about one in five people with hypertension have controlled it,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO director-general, said in a news release.
High-performing countries like Canada and South Korea have delivered comprehensive national hypertension treatment programs, according to WHO, and both nations have surpassed the 50 per cent mark for blood pressure control in adults with hypertension.
“An increase in the number of people effectively treated for hypertension to levels observed in high-performing countries could prevent 76 million deaths between 2023 and 2050”, the WHO said.
Neuropsychiatric Hospital Staff Dissociate Selves From Protest
Members of staff of the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu have dissociated themselves from a recent protest staged at the hospital.
The protest was organised by a coalition of civil society organisations.
However, addressing journalists yesterday, the workers’ unions in the hospital said no member of staff took part in the said protest, but fingered touts who were hired to protest.
They include the Joint Health Sector Union, JOHESU, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, NANNM, Association of Resident Doctors, ARD, and Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, MDCAN, of the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu.
Dr. Jane Nnabuchi of MDCAN, Dr Mbachu Ferguson of ARD, and Comrade Obinna Eze of JOHESU addressed the media on the issues.
The workers said touts were rather recruited by some persons to destabilise the hospital.
In a joint press statement issued by the workers, they debunked what they called “the stage-managed protest by a group of hired thugs that called themselves Civil Society Organisation (CSO) members, alleging that there is no peace in the hospital and that the workers are unhappy alongside other allegations levelled against the Medical Director, Prof. Monday Igwe.
“We hereby state categorically that the piece of information are not only false, but were made to mislead the general public and to cause confusion.”
The workers declared that: “there is no crisis in our hospital, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu.
“That our hospital is peaceful and workers are happy with the administration of the Medical Director, Prof. Monday Igwe.
“That the stage-managed protest on 30th August, 2023 was done by thugs hired to discredit and destabilise the Medical Director and our hospital’s activity.
“We want to challenge anybody on that protest video circulating around to provide any proof of identity as staff of Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu or student of the School of Post Basic Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing of our Hospital”.
“Ordinarily, we would have ignored the publication and the perpetrators of this dastardly and worthless act, but we are issuing a rejoinder to stop them from misleading the general public and most importantly, to put the information in the proper perspective.”
While making reference to a recent incident in the hospital, they called for an end to further harassment of the Medical Director.
“The situation created a scene and disrupted the activities of the hospital Community and would have escalated to an uglier scenario if not for the intervention of Enugu State Police Command.
“The members of Staff have been enjoying peace, infrastructural and human capacity development since the inception of Prof Monday Igwe’s leadership in 2019.
“We, the members of Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), and Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) of the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu therefore, distance ourselves from and condemn that stage-managed protest of 30th August 2023 as well as the attempted abduction “arrest” of our Medical Director on Thursday, 14th September, 2023,” the workers further stated.
How Soft Drinks Affect Male Fertility -Research
DIET indeed has a significant influence on our health, a fact that cannot be denied. What we eat and drink greatly affect not only our physical health but also the ability to conceive. Consumption of soft drinks has a marked effect on fertility in both males and females.
Researchers, following a study in animals, even extrapolated that prolonged consumption of soft drinks is bad for male fertility. Its prolonged consumption has a stimulating effect on weight, with corresponding adverse effects on sperm production.
A global decline in total sperm counts, especially among men in western countries, continues to spark doomsday predictions. From chemicals in packaging to tight trousers, the decline in total sperm counts and quality has been attributed to multiple factors. High sugar intake as part of unhealthy modern lifestyles is also on the risk list.
It is well noticed in society today that people consume drinks without giving due consideration to the quantity taken, contents, the amount required by the body and the possible implications associated with excessive consumption.
The study, titled: ‘Adverse Effects of Excessive Soft Drinks Consumption on Male Fertility in Wistar Rat Models’ was in the March edition of the International Journal of Health and Medical Research.
Thirty-five male wistar rats were divided into five groups with the control groups administered with distilled water only and four other test groups administered with single dose (1.2ml) Coca-Cola, double dose (2.4ml) Coca-Cola (Cocacolax2), 0.6ml bullet drinks and 1.2ml sugar solution. Aside from the administered samples, food and water were regularly kept at their disposals.
Bullet drink is a caffeinated energy drink. The absence of regulatory supervision has resulted in over indulgence in the marketing of energy drinks. The effect of caffeine from natural coffee, tea, cocoa and foods that contain these ingredients has not been fully elucidated.
The rationale behind the use of albino wistar rats for human studies is that they are physiologically similar to humans and are small, sociable and easy to handle.
The weights of albino wistar rats before and after administration were measured to ascertain the effects of the test samples on the mean weight difference as well as their mean relative weight difference.
In addition, sperm parameters like the sperm count, motility, viability and morphology were taken to ascertain the effects of the test samples on fertility in the study which lasted 40 days.
After 40 days of administration of the test substances, there was an increase in the average body weights in all soft drink administered test groups, compared to how it was in the control group.
In relative terms, there were elevations in all relative body weights by 40.0 percent, 40.0 percent, 63.33 percent and 23.33 percent in single dose Coca Cola group, double dose group, bullet drink group and sugar solution group
respectively, compared to the control.
In the study, soft drinks administration insignificantly decreased the motility, count and viability with corresponding increase in percentage of sperm with abnormal morphology.
According to the researchers, the increase in mean weight difference and their corresponding relative weight differences noted among the test groups suggest the premise that all test substances generally and the bullet drink specifically, contain ingredients that cause voracious feeding resulting in increased obesity and marked weight gain.
They stated that the deleterious effects of the soft drinks on the sperm characteristics could be attributed to decreased and unfavourable sperm production activities in the testis.
News2 days ago
Oil Communities Call For Forensic Audit Of Niger Delta Ministry …Want Increased Funding For NDDC
Rivers5 hours ago
Rivers Police Arrest Killer Of DPO Angbashim
Featured4 hours ago
Suspend Planned Strike, Senate Begs Labour Unions
Featured2 days ago
ECOWAS Donates $77,942 Grant To Train Poultry, Fish Farmers
Rivers2 days ago
MOSIEND Urges N’Delta Govs To Emulate Tinubu, Revamp Seaports
Opinion5 hours ago
Averting More Hardship On Nigerians
Oil & Energy4 hours ago
Rising Costs Delays Clean Hydrogen Dreams
News2 days ago
IGP Orders Thorough Investigation Into Attack On Police Officer In Abuja