content='1;url='http-equiv='refresh'/> Natural Health Remedy: December 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


CARDIOLOGISTS and other doctors already
view artery-clogging red meat as a villain,
and they now have another reason to urge
their patients to steer clear: A new study
has found that men have a higher risk of
developing aggressive prostate cancer if
they consume a lot of ground beef and
other red meat — especially if the meat is
grilled or well-done.
The men in the study who ate about two
servings of hamburger or meat loaf per
week were more than twice as likely to
have been diagnosed with aggressive
prostate cancer as the men who ate none.
But most of that increase in risk can be
attributed to how the meat was cooked.
When the researchers looked only at the
members of the burger-loving group who
ate their meat grilled or barbecued, the
numbers told a different story: The men
who preferred their burgers well-done had
double the cancer risk, while those who
liked them medium (or rarer) had a
negligible increase in risk — just 12 percent.
A similar pattern was seen with grilled or
barbecued steak.
“This is another piece of evidence for the
notion that red meat, particularly grilled
meat, contains carcinogens that may relate
to prostate cancer,” says Ronald D. Ennis,
M.D., director of radiation oncology at St.
Luke’s — Roosevelt Hospital Center, in New
York City, who was not involved in the
When meat is cooked — and charred — at
high temperatures over an open flame, a
reaction occurs that causes the formation of
two chemicals: heterocyclic amines (HCAs)
and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
(PAHs). In animal studies, these chemicals
have been shown to cause several types of
cancer, including prostate cancer.


Are herbal medicines effective and safe in
managing opportunistic infections and
complications associated with Human
Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired
Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)?

THERE have been claims and counter claims
on possible herbal cures for Human
Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired
Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
Until now several local plants such as lemon,
neem tree, garlic, scent leaf, ginger, among
others have shown promise in the
management of opportunistic infections
associated with HIV/AIDS.
However, the persistent quest for more
natural products for the treatment of HIV/
AIDS has uncovered a new candidate,
extracts of a local plant, Baissea axillaries,
which have shown promise in the
treatment of diarrhoea associated with HIV/
A study published in BMC Complementary
and Alternative Medicine concluded:
“Extracts of Baissea axillaries have
demonstrated antimicrobial activity against
clinical strains of selected microorganisms.
While there is toxicity at the dose of 500
mg/kg, the therapy shows potential for
application in the treatment of diarrhoea
associated with AIDS/HIV. Further studies of
Baissea axillaries on diarrhoea and toxicity
are necessary to evaluate its mechanism of
action and to fully establish its safety
The study is titled “Antimicrobial and
toxicological evaluation of the leaves of
Baissea axillaries Hua used in the
management of HIV/AIDS patients.”
The University of Benin, Edo State,
researchers include Tavs A. Abere of the
Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of
Pharmacy and Freddy O. Agoreyo of the
Department of Anatomy, College of Medical
Baissea axillaris belongs to the plant family
Apocynaceae. It is called imu in Yoruba.
According to The useful plants of west
tropical Africa, Vol 1 by H. M. Burkill, Baissea
axillaris is a climbing shrub to three metres
high of the rain forest of Southern Nigeria
and Western Cameroons, and extending to
Angola. The liane is used in Southern Nigeria
to make palm-wine more intoxicating. A
decoction of leafy twigs is taken in Congo
for kidney disorders.
Several studies have shown that persistent
diarrhoea is a common endemic disease
with high incidence among the Africans
including Nigerians. It also represents a
frequent opportunistic disease in people
living with HIV. Diarrhoea represents one of
the most distressful and persistent
symptoms of HIV/AIDS, which may or may
not be accompanied by an infection.
According to the study, the leaves decoction
of Baissea axillaries Hua (Apocynaceae) is
used by traditional herbalists in Edo State,
Nigeria for the management of people
living with HIV/AIDS. Determination of its
antimicrobial activity and toxicological
profile provides supportive scientific
evidence in favour of its continuous usage.
Chemical and chromatographic tests were
employed in phytochemical investigations.
Inhibitory activities of aqueous and
ethanolic extracts against clinical strains of
Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa,
Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus
faecalis were compared with Togamycin
“Our report includes minimum inhibitory
concentration (MIC) against the test
organisms. Toxicological evaluation was
determined by administering 250 mg/kg
and 500 mg/kg of extracts on male Wister
rats for 14 days with normal saline as
control. The kidneys, liver, heart and testis
tissues were examined,” the researchers
Phytochemical studies revealed the
presence of alkaloids, tannins and
cyanogenetic glycosides. The extracts
inhibited the growth of Escherichia coli,
Pseudomonas aeruginosa and
Staphylococcus aureus to varying extents,
but only the ethanolic extract inhibited
growth in Streptococcus faecalis.
According to the researchers, the LD50
(minimum lethal dose) of the extract in mice
was above 5000-mg/kg body weight when
administered intra-peritoneally.
Toxicological evaluation showed mere
ballooning degeneration of the liver at 250
mg/kg while at 500 mg/kg there was tissue
necrosis. The low and high doses showed
ill-defined leydig cells in the testis and no
remarkable changes in the heart and
Another study published in the International
Research Journal of Biochemistry and
Bioinformatics Vol. 1(5) pp. 124-130, June,
2011 noted: “Baissea axillaries Hua, a
popular herbal remedy in Nigeria used to
treat many diseases was also effective in
bacterial caused opportunistic infections in
HIV patients. However, neem (dogonyaro)
leaves that are widely distributed in Nigeria
increased the CD4 count (a marker for
immune function) and general well being
significantly in HIV patients. ?-Zam is an
effective herbal remedy used by HIV
patients in Nigeria as alternative or
complementary therapy.”
The study is titled “Chronic toxicity profiles
of ?-zam, herbal concoction used for HIV
infection in Nigeria” is a collaborative effort
between researchers from Faculty of Health
and Social Care, St. George’s University of
London and Kingston University, London,
Osun State University, Osogbo and College
of Health Sciences, Igbinedion University
Okada, Edo State.
The study reads: “The effectiveness of
herbal remedies in HIV infection is not
doubtful. There are many herbal remedies
that have been found to inhibit one or more
steps in HIV replication. Alkaloids derivatives
herbal remedies (example Ancistrocladus
korupensis) from tropical liana plant inhibit
reverse transcriptase and HIV induced cell
“Pentosan poly-sulphate, a carbohydrate
derivate inhibits HIV tat regulatory protein
(p14) that strongly activates transcription
of proviral DNA. A coumarin herbal remedy
in form of canolides from tropical forest
tree (Calophyllum lanigerum) was rated as
non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase
inhibitor in potency. Despite the fact that
sero- deconversion is very rare with Highly
Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART), some
herbal remedies (example Chinese
medicines) have been documented in
turning HIV infected patients to sero-
“There are many herbal remedies that are
effective against HIV infection in Nigeria.
Many of these documented herbal remedies
act on the opportunistic infections caused
by micro-organisms.”
Another study published in Ethno-Medicine
has examined the role of traditional
medicine/complimentary and alternative
medicines (TM/CAM) and their practitioners
and products in the prevention and
management of HIV/AIDS as a
complementary measure to curb the spread
The study is titled: “Roles of Traditional
Healers in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS.” The
researchers include Jimoh Amzat of the
Department of Sociology, Usmanu
Danfodiyo University, Sokoto and Ali A.
Abdullahi of the Department of Sociology,
University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State.


SWEDISH women, who ate an antioxidant-
rich diet had fewer strokes regardless of
whether they had a previous history of
cardiovascular disease, in a study reported
in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart
“Eating antioxidant-rich foods may reduce
your risk of stroke by inhibiting oxidative
stress and inflammation,” said Susanne
Rautiainen, M.Sc., the study’s first author
and Ph.D. student at the Karolinska Institutet
in Sweden. “This means people should eat
more foods such as fruits and vegetables
that contribute to total antioxidant
Oxidative stress is an imbalance between
the production of cell-damaging free
radicals and the body’s ability to neutralise
them. It leads to inflammation, blood vessel
damage and stiffening.
Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E,
carotenoids and flavonoids can inhibit
oxidative stress and inflammation by
scavenging the free radicals. Antioxidants,
especially flavonoids, may also help
improve endothelial function and reduce
blood clotting, blood pressure and


Non-pathogenic micro-organisms in
fermented foods or rather probiotics are
increasingly being employed by medical
experts in the treatment of diseases.

THEY are the reason why the water from
fermented cereals- ogi, kunun zaki, and
burukutu- stop diarrhoea. Experts say their
inherent microorganisms could be
responsible for their profound health
Probiotics are considered “good bacteria”
that help maintain the natural balance of
microflora in the digestive tract where
trillions of bacteria live. While most of the
more than 400 different species in the gut
are healthy bacteria, others, “bad bugs”
have the potential to cause damage to the
digestive system. At times, an imbalance
between the good and bad bacteria can
lead to uncomfortable symptoms or
Probiotics are bacteria, or even sometimes
yeast, which may alleviate common gastro
intestinal (GI) symptoms and are found in
many commercial products including
yogurt, juices, soy products, fermented milk,
tempeh and other dietary supplements.
They also come in capsule, tablet or powder
Ogi (in Yoruba) is fermented corn/cereal
called pap in English, akanmu in Ibo. It is a
common breakfast cereal for most Nigerian
homes. In many parts of Nigeria, nursing
mothers do give their babies’ ogi and this
causes the termination of their illness.
Kunun-zaki (in Hausa) is a fermented non-
alcoholic cereal beverage made usually with
millet. It is a popular refreshing drink in
northern Nigeria. Burukutu is a local African
beer brewed wholly from sorghum (guinea
Nigerian scientists have evaluated the
antibacterial activities of ogi liquor from
different grains against some common
diarrhoeal bacteria in southwest Nigeria
and discovered the inhibition of the
pathogens by the ogi liquor, which contains
a variety of organisms including
Lactobacillus species.
Nigerian scientists have explored the
potential of probiotics as bio-therapeutic
agents targeting the innate immune system.
The researchers from the Federal University
of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, and
University of Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State in a study
published in African Journal of
Biotechnology concluded, “the potential of
probionts associated with fermented
African foods and beverages, such as ogi
and kunnu, to modulate host immunity is a
very promising area of research. More
emphasis should be on further screening of
already discovered probiotics example
Lactobacillus plantarum isolated from ogi
slurry and also new probiotic candidates
from other sources.
“This will involve further in vitro and in
vivo investigation to evaluate their
potential as immune-stimulatory agents.
Furthermore, genetic engineering of already
identified probiotics and those newly
discovered to make them more efficacious
should be pursued.”
According to another study published in
Nigerian Food Journal, some of the health
benefits of probiotics include the alleviation
and prevention of gastrointestinal diseases,
allergies, and lowering of blood cholesterol.
Nutrition-related benefits include enhanced
digestion and assimilation of food nutrients,
increased bioavailability of vitamins and
improved mineral absorption.
The study reads: “Although most probiotics
are dairy-based, locally available fermented
cereal foods such as kunun zaki, burukutu
and ogi could be potential probiotic vehicles
in Nigeria. The upgrading of such local
foods could add to their value and promote
their consumption. A preliminary work
using as a possible probiotic inoculum
source in kunun processing was also
attempted and reported in this study.”
Nigerian scientists have also used probiotics
to treat complications associated with
Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
(AIDS) and prevent infection with the virus.
The researchers led by a post-doctoral
research Fellow at UWO, London, Ontario,
Canada, and University of Benin, Dr.
Kingsley C. Anukam, found that probiotic
strains of Lactobacillus have been shown to
be safe and efficacious in African women
and have potential to contribute positively
to their health.
Anukam wrote, “more studies and funds are
needed to expand our understanding of
this approach to healthcare including
economic, social, political and behavioral
changes, and assessing the strengths and
limitations of probiotics for the HIV/AIDS
crisis. In the long term, the development of
recombinant strains expressing potent anti-
HIV microbicides may provide a more
specific preventive approach, but funding is
needed to test these new technologies.
“Complementary/ simultaneous efforts to
ensure proper nutrition among HIV-infected
children and adults are essential
components of an effective response to the
HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. Probiotic
interventions have a role to play. I do not
agree that there is limited profit to be made
in Africa, but it remains to be seen when
suitable commercial products will arrive
from multinational companies.”
Another study, titled: “Current applications
of probiotic foods in Africa,” and published
in African Journal of Biotechnology noted
that kindirmo, nono and warankasi are
common fermented milk products in
A new research published in BioMed
Central’s open access journal Critical Care
shows that including probiotics with
nutrients, supplied via the patient’s feeding
tube, increased interferon levels, reduced
the number of infections, and even reduced
the amount of time patients spent in
intensive care.
Also, researchers have confirmed the
effectiveness of probiotics for antibiotic-
associated diarrhea; as an anti-
inflammatory agent for patients with
ulcerative colitis, psoriasis and chronic
fatigue syndrome; and for people with
abdominal discomfort and bloating who
have not been diagnosed with a functional
bowel disorder, such as irritable bowel
syndrome (IBS).


SORGHUM bicolour, a native grass cultivated
for food and its high medicinal properties,
was recently lauded for its antioxidant and
immune boosting potency at the World
Congress on Military Medicine (WCMM) in
Several studies conducted at the military
and police hospitals across the country, and
cited by experts at the occasion, have
found sorghum potent in treating Human
Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired immune
deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS)-related
Col. Gian Ayuba of the 44 Army Reference
Hospital, Kaduna noted that Sorghum
bicolour is nature’s most powerful
antioxidant, with capacity present in a
single specific specie of which the active
part is the leaf sheath.
“For the past two decades, modern science
has created synthetic equivalents of the
active compounds in Sorghum bicolour.
However, studies have shown that these
synthetic equivalents do not possess the
same impressive biological effects when
compared to the natural extracts.
“For a long time, indigenous people of West
Africa have used this and other botanical
plants as medicine for treating and curing
diseases, but it is the discovery of its special
and expansive powers by the founder of
Health Forever Products Limited and maker
of Jobelyn that consummated the
potentials,” he said.
On the science behind the traditional
remedy, Ayuba explained that many plants
manufactured secondary metabolites,
which include flavonoids, to protect
themselves against pathogen attack.
“In sorghum, this defence is an active
response resulting in the accumulation of
high levels of 3-deoxyanthocyanidin
phytoalexins (flavonoids) in the plant.
“This 3-deoxyanthocyanidin (3-DXA)
possesses unique chemical and biochemical
properties that Jobelyn uses to strengthen
the body and promote whole health.”
He supported his presentation with various
tests that had been conducted on Jobelyn,
among which is an investigation conducted
at the University of Benin.
In the study, the Packed Cell Volume (PCV)
and Haemoglobin (HB) levels of health
rabbits and rabbits infected with
Trypanosoma brucei-induced anaemia were
elevated following Jobelyn administration.
In another study conducted at Lindabel
Medical Centre, Lawanson, Lagos, 163
randomly selected anaemic patients were
given Jobelyn. “The result is that 98 per cent
showed increase in haemoglobin level
within a week. Besides, sickle cell disease
patients were found to have fewer crises
when placed on Jobelyn.”
On anti-inflammatory activity, Ayuba noted:
“A renowned laboratory in Germany has
investigated and reported the ability of
Jobelyn to suppress the following very
dangerous cytokines – IL – 1, 1L – 6, TNF-
alpha and PGE2. In LPS=stimulated human
PBMC Model (Indirect COX Activity Assay),
Jobelyn was demonstrated to decrease PGE2
production from LPS-stimulated cells
suggesting COX-2 activity inhibition.”
In a report to evaluate the efficiency of
Jobelyn in enhancing immunity in Human
Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)-infected
patients, titled: ‘Effect of Jobelyn, a Nigerian
herbal extract, on the cellular immunity of
persons living with HIV/Acquired Immune
Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)’, Ayuba
explained that 36 males and 28 females
HIV/AIDS patients who regularly attended
clinic at the Military Hospital, Lagos, between
May and September 2003 were recruited
for the research.


Researchers have found that a
mixture of bitter kola and original honey
protects the liver from paracetamol-
induced damage and treat knee
IN recent times the incidence of liver,
kidney and indeed body organ damage has
been on the rise. This has been linked to
ingestion of toxic chemicals or poisons such
as drug overdose and over alcohol
But Nigerian researchers have
demonstrated how a mixture of bitter kola
(Garcinia kola) and honey protects the liver
from damage caused by the consumption
of toxic substances and drugs.
The study published recently in Nigerian
Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular
Biology is titled “Protective Effect of
Garcinia kola Seed and Honey Mixture
Against Paracetamol-induced Hepatotoxicity
in Rats.”
The researchers concluded: “Garcinia kola
seed (GKS), honey or a mixture of both
acted as anti-hepatotoxic agent because it
was able to significantly reduce the
elevated serum total bilirubin concentration
and enzyme activities in rats exposed to
paracetamol treatment. The observed anti-
hepatotoxic activity might be linked to the
presence of flavonoids in both GKS and
The study researchers include D. G.
Eminedoki, A. A. Uwakwe and Gloria O. Ibe
of the
Department of Biochemistry, University Of
Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Nigerian researchers have also found that
bitter kola could be used to treat
osteoarthritis. The study titled “Clinical
effects of Garcinia kola in knee
osteoarthritis” was published in Journal of
Orthopaedic Surgery and Research
The researchers from Obafemi Awolowo
University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), Ile-
Ife, Osun State concluded: “Garcinia kola
clinically appeared to have a significant
analgesic/anti-inflammatory effects in knee
osteoarthritis patients. Garcinia kola is a
potential osteoarthritis disease modifier.
This study shows that Garcinia kola is
effective in improving locomotors function
and significant pain reduction in patients
with knee osteoarthritis (OA). Further study
is required for standardisation of dosages
of Garcinia kola in knee Osteoarthritis (KOA).
Liver is the main body organ responsible
for the metabolism of drugs. Every drug is
known to be associated with hepatotoxicity
almost certainly due to the ability of drugs
to generate free radicals and to cause a
disturbance in hepatocyte biochemistry.
Consequently, this subjects the liver to a
variety of diseases and disorders.
In recent times, researchers have been
motivated to consider the therapeutic
effects of a number of medicinal plants that
are claimed to possess protective
characteristics against liver disorders
caused by toxic substances. One of such
medicinal plants is Garcinia kola, which was
chosen in this study. In addition, honey was
chosen because in traditional medicine it is
used alone or in combination with other
substances, such as Garcinia kola seed, for
the treatment of a number of human
Garcinia kola is a fruit-bearing tree that
belongs to the family Guttiferae. It is found
in moist forests and grows as a medium
sized tree up to 14m high. The plant is
commonly called “bitter kola” in Nigeria
because of the bitter taste of its seeds.
Garcinia kola seed (hereafter referred to as
GKS) has long been used in sub- Saharan
Africa as an antidote for ingested poison,
and as a cure for a number of ailments and
conditions such as abdominal colicky pain,
chest cold, cough and hepatitis.
The documented and suggested clinical uses
of GKS include drug detoxification,
bronchodilation (for asthma), liver
disorders, male virility, blood sugar
regulation, lipid disorders, infectious
diseases, boosting of immune system and
weight reduction. Most of the reported
bioactivities associated with GKS are
believed to be related to the presence of
biflavonoids, which are well known for
their antioxidant activities.
Honey is a natural product that is widely
available in different parts of the world, and
is readily obtained from natural or cultured
bee colonies. Honey has a very long history
of use as a medicinal substance due partly
to its ability to inhibit microbial growth. It
has been reported to be very successful in
treating human burns, wounds and ulcers. It
has also been found to exhibit antioxidant
activity due to its high content of
Paracetamol (acetaminophen) is widely
used as a hepatotoxic agent for the
screening of the antihepatotoxic activity of
a wide variety of traditional medicinal
plants. It has been generally reported and
accepted that one of the possible
mechanisms that may be involved in
paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity has to
do with the generation of oxidised reactive
intermediates, and compounds having
antioxidant, free radical scavenging and
anti-lipoperoxidative properties are known
to exhibit anti-hepatotoxic activities.
Phytochemical analysis shows that both GKS
and honey contain high concentrations of
flavonoids, which are compounds having
strong antioxidant activity (Iwu and
Igboko, 1982; Ajadi and Kamaruddin, 2004).
The presence of these strong antioxidants
might be responsible for the observed anti-
hepatotoxic potential of GKS, honey or a
mixture of both.
Both GKS and honey have high contents of
strong antioxidants, and have been
reported to exhibit anti- hepatotoxic
activities in laboratory animals exposed to
hepatotoxic agents. However, in an
extensive review of related literature, no
documented evidence was found to show
that the mixture of GKS and honey could
protect animal livers against toxin-induced
hepatotoxicity. This study was therefore
undertaken to investigate the
hepatoprotective potential of GKS, honey or
a mixture of both against paracetamol-
induced hepatotoxicity in rats.
Meanwhile, over the past years, there has
been a growing number of knee
osteoarthritis (KOA) patients who are not
willing to comply with long-term non-
steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID)
treatment and wish to use herbal anti-
rheumatic medicine. This study assessed the
clinical effects of Garcinia kola (GK) in KOA
Prospective randomised, placebo controlled,
double blind, clinical trial approved by the
institutional medical ethics review board
and written informed consent obtained
from each patient. All KOA patients
presenting at the Obafemi Awolowo
University Teaching Hospital complex were
recruited into the study. The patients were
grouped into four (A = Placebo, B =
Naproxen, C = Garcinia kola, D = Celebrex).
The drugs and placebo were given twice a
day per oral route. Each dose consisted of
200 mg of G. kola, Naproxen (500 mg),
Celebrex (200 mg) and Ascorbic acid (100
mg). The primary outcome measure over
six weeks study period was the change in
mean WOMAC pain visual analogue scales
(VAS). Secondary outcome measures
included the mean change in joint stiffness
and physical function (mobility/walking).


Researchers have identified
more local foodstuffs with prostate
cancer chemo-preventive substances-
native pear, cloves, horseradish/Moringa
oleifera, bush candle tree, tomatoes, wild
cabbage, soursop, soya beans, chilli
pepper, and green tea.

PROSTATE cancer is on the rise in Nigeria!
Early symptoms of prostate cancer include
frequent urination, nocturia (increased
urination at night), difficulty starting and
maintaining a steady stream of urine,
hematuria (blood in the urine) and dysuria
(painful urination).
According to recent estimates by the World
Health Organisation (WHO), prostate cancer
constitutes 24 per cent of annual cancer
incidence in sub- Saharan Africa, and is the
fifth most common of all cancers. It is the
cancer with the highest incidence, and
consequently, responsible for the highest
mortality rate of all cancers among black
males in sub-Saharan Africa.
But Nigerian researchers have found that
although prostate cancer is historically more
prevalent in males of African extraction, the
incidence can be dramatically reduced, and
the age of onset drastically increased, if the
population at risk consumes the right kinds
of foods in the right proportion, beginning
early in life, especially as prostate cancer
has a gestation period of about 50 years.
A review of laboratory data and available
literature on prostate cancer
chemopreventive substances in Nigerian
foodstuffs found that native pear fruit
(Dacryodes edulis), Moringa oleifera and
cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) contained
prostate active polyphenols like ellagic acid,
gallate, methylgallate, catechol, kaempferol
quercetin and their derivatives.
Dietary polyphenols are antioxidants that
can scavenge biological free radicals, and
chemo-prevent diseases with biological
oxidation as their main etiological factor.
The study was published as part of
Infectious Agents and Cancer Volume 6
Supplement 2, 2011. It was also published in
Proceedings of the First Biennial Conference
on the Science of Global Prostate Cancer
Disparities in Black Men.
Also bush candle tree (Canarium
schweinfurthii) Engl oil contained ten
phenolic compounds and lignans, namely,
catechol, p-hydroxybenzaldehyde,
dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, tyrosol, p-
hydroxybenzoic acid, dihydroxybenzoic
acid, vanillic acid, phloretic acid, pinoresinol,
In addition, tomatoes (Lycopersicon
esculentum Mill) which contains the
powerful antioxidant and anti-prostate
cancer agent, lycopene, cabbage (Brassica
oleracea) containing indole-3-carbinol, citrus
fruits containing pectin, Soursop (Annona
muricata) containing annonaceous
acetogenins, soya beans (Glycine max)
containing isoflavones, chilli pepper
(Capsicum annuum) containing capsaicin,
and green tea (Camellia sinensis) containing
(-) epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), (-)
epicatechin, (-) epicatechin-3-gallate and (-)
epigallocatechin -3-gallate which are widely
reported to posses prostate cancer
chemopreventive compounds are also
grown in Nigeria and other African
The study entitled: “Nigerian foodstuffs
with prostate cancer chemopreventive
polyphenols,” was conducted by Sunday
Eneojo Atawodi of the Biochemistry
Department, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria,
Kaduna State.
Earlier studies have shown that prostate
cancer is an ideal candidate disease for
chemoprevention because it is typically
diagnosed in men ages greater than 50
years and has a high latency period, and
hence, even a slight delay in the
progression of this disease by chemo-
preventive intervention could result in a
substantial reduction in the incidence of the
disease and, more importantly, improve the
quality of life of the patients.
Epidemiological and laboratory evidence
also indicate that the differences in
incidence of cancers, in general, and
prostate cancer in particular, may be
associated with the presence of certain
polyphenols, especially flavonoids in the
diets of these populations.
Commonly called cloves, Syzygium
aromaticum belongs to the plant family
Myrtaceae. The locals, especially in Lagos call
it conophor.
Commonly called African pear, native pear
or bush butter, Dacryodes edulis belongs to
the plant family Burseraceae. It called
safoutier in French. In Nigeria, it is ibe in
Kalabari; boshu in Bokyi; orunmwun in Edo
(indicating something edible); ube in Ibo;
orumu in Urhobo; and elemi in Yoruba.
Commonly known in the English language
as the ben oil tree, the horseradish tree, or
the drumstick tree, Moringa oleifera belongs
to the plant family Moringaceae. Moringa
oleifera is a local plant found almost in
every region of the country has been
shown to be useful purifying water,
treating malnutrition, boosting immunity,
fighting microbes, and cancers.
In Nigeria, it is called Ewe ile, Ewe igbale, or
Idagbo monoye (the tree which grows
crazily) in Yoruba; Gawara, Habiwal hausa,
Konamarade, or Rini maka in Fulani;
Bagaruwar maka, Bagaruwar masar,
Barambo, Koraukin zaila, Shipka hali, Shuka
halinka, Rimin nacara, Rimin turawa, Zogall,
or Zogalla-gandi in Hausa; and Odudu oyibo,
Okochi egbu, Okwe olu, Okwe oyibo,
Okughara ite, Uhe, Ikwe beke in Ibo.
Until now, various laboratory researches
have confirmed that Moringa is a natural
energy booster, strengthens the immune
system, has antibiotic properties, cures
headaches, migraines, asthma, and ulcers,
reduces arthritic pains and inflammations,
and restricted tumour growths.
Canarium schweinfurthii belongs to the
plant family Burseraceae, commonly called
African elemi, incense tree or bush candle
tree. To the French it is elemier d’Afrique,
ekpakpogho in Edo, eben etiridon in Efik,
etile in Hausa, oda in Igala, ube-osa in Igbo,
and ako in Yoruba. The resin is generally
held to have action on skin-affections. It is
used for eczema, the inner bark is rub on
the skin for leprosy, and on to ulcers.
Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) is of the
Solanaceae family. It is called ekhue in Edo.
Leaves are used to treat eyes with
bloodstain. Young fresh leaves are
squeezed and the juice is dropped into the
eyes, one drop, twice daily.
Kale is a green leafy vegetable that belongs
to the brassica family, a group of
vegetables including cabbage, collards and
brussels sprouts that have recent
widespread attention due to their health
promoting, sulphur-containing
phytonutrients. Its Latin name is Brassica
The common name(s) is, Kale, Borecole. In
Asaba, Delta State of Nigeria, kale is nick-
named “hospital too far.” This is because of
the health benefits of kale.