he West African Society of Pharmacology (WASP) has recommended the consumption of ginger, turmeric, bitter leaf and bitter kola, amongst other fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants for disease prevention.
The society gave the advice in Kaduna on Monday at the opening of its 43rd Annual Conference holding at Kaduna State University (KASU) from Oct. 24 to 28, 2022.
The conference with the theme, “Mitigating Mediators of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation: A Fulcrum in the Pharmacotherapy of Disease”, was to stress the need for research in the prevention of diseases.
The Keynote Speaker, Ebenezer Farombi, a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Toxicology, University of Ibadan, explained that oxidants were reactive molecules, produced both inside the human body and the environment.
Farombi said that the molecules reacted with other cellular molecules in the human body such as protein, DNA and lipids and in the process, damaged some molecules, causing disease and inflammation.
He further said that antioxidants on the other hand were molecules that defend humans against oxidants.
“It intercepts those oxidants so that they cannot react with cellular macromolecules and, therefore, protects us against preventable diseases,” he said.
Farombi explained that the role of the antioxidants was to prevent diseases like cancer, liver diseases, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and neurological diseases, amongst others.
He said that people ate, drank and inhaled a lot of toxic and damaging substances and other contaminated substances that could damage their biological system, causing all kinds of life-threatening diseases.
According to him, the effective way of preventing some diseases is by advising people to consume food rich with antioxidants like ginger, turmeric, bitter leaf and bitter kola, amongst others.
“These products counteract and work against some of the toxic substances that we consume and promote healthy living, including anti-aging and long life,“ Farombi said.
The Chairman, Local Organising Committee of the Conference, Prof. Ben Chindo, said that the conference was organised to energise and spur researchers’ interest in pharmacology and biomedical sciences.
Chindo, the Director, Research and Development, KASU, said that the goal was to enable scientists to undertake more intelligent and rewarding research in disease prevention, which according to him is cost effective.
The President of WASP, Prof. Ching Poh, said that Kaduna State University was the second university to host the annual regional conference after Lagos State University that hosted the event in 1971.
Poh said that WASP was established in 1971 with the aim of improving and advancing pharmacology and the allied sciences in the West African sub-region.
He said that the conference had provided avenues for showcasing published books, journals and newsletters in all areas of pharmacology