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Herbal remedies for hair loss, dandruff, premature graying

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*Guava, onion, garlic, Shea butter, Aloe vera, neem oil, olive oil, coconut oil show promise

Can a combination of local herbs including onions, garlic, guava, Shea butter, Aloe vera, neem oil, olive oil and coconut oil provide the next best medicine for hair loss, dandruff, baldness and premature graying of hair?

The use Shea butter, pawpaw (Carica papaya) and polysaccharide mixture to enhance hair growth and hair restoration for damaged hair has received a United States (US) patent: US 20050053564 A1.

The abstract noted: “The present invention includes methods for the treatment and/or prevention of hair loss and methods for the regeneration or restoration of hair growth comprising a step of identifying an individual suffering from or susceptible to hair loss or hair thinning or in need of hair regeneration, and a step of administering of a plant extract identified as Shea butter in combination with papaya and polysaccharides. Preferably, the extract is an aqueous extract and is administered topically.

“The present invention also provides a composition, preferably in the from of a lotion, gel, cream, or other suspension, and a distinct chemical compound or class of chemical compounds therein, effective in restoring hair growth, preventing hair loss, and/or reversing the effects of hair thinning. The composition may include an effective amount of a hair loss preventative or hair growth promoting composition comprising a plant extract identified as Shea Butter in combination with papaya and polysaccharides.”

Commonly called Shea butter in Nigeria, okwuma in Igbo and ori in Yoruba, Butyrospermum parkii/Vitellaria paradoxa, is a tree of Sapotaceae family, indigenous to Africa. The Shea fruit consists of a thin, tart, nutritious pulp, surrounding a relatively large, oil-rich seed, from which Shea butter is extracted. Shea butter is a fat obtained from the fruit of the tree. It is commonly used in hair and skin care products due to its properties as an excellent skin conditioner. It is believed to promote hair growth and is considered especially beneficial to processed, damaged and heat-treated hair.

The benefits of Shea butter can be attributed to the concentration of vitamins A, E and F, along with cinnamic esters, sterols, minerals and other nutrients. Vitamin F is made up of linoleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid. These fatty acids are believed to soothe, hydrate, balance and revitalize both the hair and the scalp.

Papaya is the fruit from the plant pawpaw (Carica papaya). It is mostly found in tropical countries like Nigeria, India, Sri Lanka, Jamaica, Indonesia, Brazil and Vietnam. Along with other benefits papaya is said to be great for hair. It helps hair by: maintaining the natural shine of the hair; keeping the hair soft; stimulating hair growth; restricting the dandruff; relaxing the hair; and making the hair fuller and stronger by firming it.

Papaya is rich in proteins, vitamin B6, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, beta-carotene among others.
Another study published in International Journal of Pharmacy Research and Development (IJPRD) has found that onions have proven additional hair-restoring capabilities. The study concluded: “Onions contain a number of important minerals and vitamins, such as vitamins C and B6, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and germanium. Onion also has high sulphur content. Sulphur is a mineral present in every cell in our body, with its greatest concentration in hair, skin and nails. It has often been called the “beauty mineral” and the “healing mineral” because of its ability to promote circulation and decrease inflammation. These qualities also lend to the theory that adequate amounts of sulphur can jump-start hair growth in people with deficiencies.High amounts of sulphur in onions make them particularly effective in regenerating hair follicles and stimulating hair regrowth. In addition, naturally-concentrated sulphur compounds have been proven to show additional hair-restoring.”

Scientists have also successfully treated hair loss with Allium sativum (garlic). The researchers in a study published in Kufa Medical Journal concluded: “Garlic is an efficient and rapid topical treatment for alopecia areata. It is cheep, available and with negligible side effects.”

Alopecia areata is a non-scarring localized hair fall, probably of autoimmune ateology, that responds to treatment with many topically applied irritant substances.

This study was a therapeutic trial to test the efficacy of topical garlic extract for two months in patients with alopecia areata. The study was carried out between July 2006 and July 2007, in the out patient clinic in Najaf.Allium sativum, the garlic, was blended and the extract was achieved by crushing. Garlic extract was rubbed on the alopecia patches, twice daily for two months. Re-growth of terminal coarse hairs was evaluated every two weeks.

The researchers noted: “In this study, hair growth was observed in all patients, no significant complications were observed. Unfortunately, only a few studies have been done about the effectiveness of garlic components in managing alopecia areata. Garlic is used all over the world for different diseases.

“Different researchers have shown that alopecia areata is marked by autoimmune assault on the hair follicle resulting in hair loss. The modulatory effects of garlic on immune responses may justify its efficacy in alopecia areata. In a comparative study by Sharquie et al., crude onion juice applied topically in treatment of patchy alopecia areata was compared with tap water; it was found that it could be effective in treatment of alopecia areata.

“Onion and garlic belong to a widely grown vegetable family. Both of them contain diallyl disulphide, which may provide their therapeutic effects. Though different modalities of treatment, local and systemic, have been used to induce hair re-growth, all of them have their own complications and efficacies. The high spontaneous remission rate of alopecia areata sometimes makes it difficult to clearly assess the true efficacy of a given therapy. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that topical garlic extract treatment may be effective and well tolerated in alopecia areata patients and provides prolonged therapeutic benefits. Garlic extract proved to be an effective topical treatment modality for early alopecia areata.”

Aloe vera has long been known as one of nature’s miracle plants, being used to cure everything from minor skin irritations to burns. But today, it is being touted as nature’s hair growth aid, able to help those suffering with thinning hair, alopecia, and even dandruff achieves impressive results.Aloe vera gel is good for promoting hair growth, moisturizing the hair, and eliminating bacteria that can be caused by excessive oil build up and dandruff on the scalp. Aloe vera gel contains an enzyme that helps to increase blood circulation in the scalp, which helps prevent hair loss and helps rejuvenate hair follicles for increased hair growth in both men and women. If used at the onset of thinning hair and alopecia, the regular use of Aloe vera gel has been known to reduce or even cure some cases of baldness.

In 74 C.E., a Greek Physician by the name of Discordes, stated in his medical book “De Materia Medica” that Aloe vera was effective at treating wounds, healing skin infections, curing chapping, eliminating hemorrhoids, and decreasing hair loss. In another study conducted by James Law, a pharmacist, he used gel straight from the leaf, each day, for nine months, to treat his own thinning hair, which yielded good results. Because aloe Vera gel contains many trace minerals, vitamins, and amino acids, it is great for nourishing the hair and keeping it healthy and moisturized.

These same nutrients also make it a great conditioner for the hair. Aloe vera gel leaves hair soft, shiny, and lustrous without the greasy, build up of traditional conditioners. “Research done around the world has proven that Aloe vera has moisturizing and penetrating properties”.

Aloe vera gel contains both antibacterial and anti-fungal agents that helps stop dandruff and the excess build up of sebum, which can mix with dirt and clog the pores where hair follicles grow out.

The gel balances the natural oils in the scalp and cools and refreshes the scalp. In a clinical study, Aloe Vera was given to participants to test its antibacterial effects against the gingivitis disease. After three months, participants showed a significant decrease in plaque and gingivitis, which scientists attributed to Aloe vera’s antibacterial, anti inflammatory, and pain and wound healing properties, according to a study published in Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology.

Another study published in Journal of Pharmacy Research has demonstrated the therapeutic potential of Psidium guajava (guava) and its polyherbal formulation on chemotherapy induced baldness (alopecia).

Specifically, the young leaves of the guava are rich in a myriad of vitamins, minerals and flavonoids. It has been studied and documented for its many health benefits, exemplifying its bioactive properties as, but not limited to, an antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-cough, and anti-inflammatory.It has been used to alleviate illness and ailments including but not limited to those related to cardiovascular, intestinal, allergies, diabetes and pain mediator.

Guava Leaves and Vitamin B
Vitamin B, specifically B2 and B6, are known to play an important role in the development and maintenance of the skin and hair.In this study, rats were injected with a chemotherapy agent called doxorubicin, which is a drug well known for inducing a severe grade of hair loss. Researchers used a combination of L-cysteine, an amino acid, and Vitamin B6 of varying doses on the afflicted rats to evaluate the effectiveness on hair growth.

They found that the rats with the highest dose of L-cysteine and vitamin B6 dosage (1600 + 160 mg/kg b.w./day) resulted in the most optimal hair growth.
Recently, it is becoming more evident how important vitamin B6 is for the wellbeing of the cell. The guava leaves, which contain a healthy source of vitamin B6, can help create a large number of essential enzymes that is necessary for cellular metabolism, ultimately aiding the process of cellular development and conservation of the body, including within the hair follicles.Guava leaves also provide a rich source of Vitamin B2, or riboflavin. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, riboflavin is essential for energy production and immune function.

It also metabolizes fat and protein, which is necessary for healthy hair. It is important to note that without riboflavin, vitamin B6 cannot convert into a usable form for the body.Therefore, the introduction of B2 is vital for B6 to exert its benefit towards hair growth and maintenance.In addition, both vitamin B2 and B6 may have crucial roles in protecting the cells from the oxidative stress and damage that results from the free radicals.

This is especially true for free radicals that are a result of abiotic stressors, or non-living external factors, such as pollution and UV radiation, thereby reducing cell apoptosis (aka cell death).

Inflammation has been deemed responsible for causing hair loss in many individuals. When the scalp undergoes damage from free radicals, DHT and other harmful microbes, the body’s natural response is to call in a series of cellular action that will eliminate the irritation through inflammation.

Though it is a necessary mechanism to protect the body, unfortunately for the scalp, this causes the hair to fall out prematurely and may limit itself in growth thereafter.In this experiment, researchers sought to examine guava leaves to determine its viability in reducing inflammation by specifically observing the inhibitory effect of guava leave extracts on individual pro-inflammatory mediators, such as interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-a, nitric oxide synthesizer and etc.

Different inflammation markers were tested on different animals and cell cultures to try to identify where guava leaves were most effective.The results showed that the guava leave extract actually suppressed inflammatory biomarkers on multiple fronts. For example, in mice, it stopped nearly 67 per cent of death from septic shock induced by lipopolysaccharide, and important marker of inflammation.

In the cell cultures, it severely disrupted several specific markers of inflammation, including not limited to nitric oxide, COX-2, and prostaglandin E2.
By interrupting the chain of biological events that leads up to acute and chronic inflammation, guava leaves may act directly to mitigate attacks on hair follicles.

In this study guava leaf extract showed properties that helped to reduce blood sugar levels after food – which in itself could help reduce hair loss directly (diabetes and hair loss have been linked) and so has insulin resistance.

In this particular study, a small trace of guava, along with other natural products such but not limited to morus bark, sweet flag, Korean angelica root, licorice and pine needles are mixed together in a concentration that was turned into a liquid.

The mixture was then applied for ten months onto 12 human subjects that had daily hair loss of more than 100. Hair measurements, including count, length, density and thickness were recorded after 30, 40 and 60 days.

The results found that the natural plant product that included guava showed that the number of hair loss significant decreased. Hair loss prevention rate also increased significantly amongst most of the participants. It is important to note that optimal results plateau at Day 40, and showed maintenance into Day 60.

The success may be attributed to the increasing blood flow to the follicles. By supplying more blood, the body is able to deliver more essential nutrients to enable hair growth and decrease any harmful molecules that could induce lymphocytes, or white blood cells, to come and potentially attack the hair follicles.

In order to reap the full benefits that guava leaves has to offer, take a handful of guava leaves and boil it in one liter of water for about 20 minutes. Afterward, set it aside at room temperature before straining the water and applying it to the hair from the roots to the top, making sure to massage the scalp.

Ensure that the hair is free of any product or chemicals prior to performing this regiment. Any leftover can be stored at room temperature, preferably away from sunlight.Although direct application to the scalp may derive the most benefit, it is also possible to consume the tea. Guava leaves may be found in either loose or tea bag form in local groceries.

Because it is natural and without chemicals, there are very little adverse effects from the guava leaves.If consumed however, it should be taken with caution in conjunction with certain medications, specifically cardiac and hyperglycemic, as guava leaves decreases heart rate and lowers blood sugar.

Overconsumption of the tea may also cause constipation in certain individuals. Always consult a doctor about medical concerns before starting this regiment.Modern research has supported the theory that olive oil may be able to prevent hair loss, and boost hair production when used either orally or topically.

For people who are suffering from male pattern baldness, olive oil can be extremely beneficial. Typically, male pattern baldness is caused by an excess amount of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that makes hair follicle shafts shrink. Over time, this causes hair to grow in thinner and thinner strands, which eventually start breaking off before they can even grows to a reasonable length.

Olive oil can actually slow down the body’s natural production of DHT when it is applied to the scalp, so it provides a minor decrease in the hair loss caused by male pattern baldness.

One of the main benefits of olive oil for hair growth is that it strengthens hair follicles and shafts, preventing hairs from breaking off quickly. The fatty acids of olive oil make an ideal conditioner for hair, and when hair is properly conditioned, in bends under pressure instead of breaking and snapping off.

When applied to hair, the omega-6 fatty acid in olive oil prevents it from losing water in a dry environment. Since the body cannot produce omega-6 naturally, getting it from olive oil and other sources is the only way to get the hair boosting benefits of this type of fatty acid, and it also stimulates hair growth when taken as a supplement.

Another beneficial type of fatty acid is omega-9, which is also found in olive oil, because it makes hair more pliable and bendable. These moisturizing and conditioning effects (see video below) of olive oil prevent hair from breaking, so they are the primary reason that this type of oil is so effective at producing thicker hair.

A healthy scalp is just as important for hair growth as healthy hair.Olive oil is an excellent source of antioxidants that promote scalp and skin health. Whether it is eaten or used on the skin, olive oil helps to prevent damage and soothe a dry, itchy scalp. Applying olive oil to your scalp will help to prevent dandruff, fungus, and other scalp issues that lead to dry, flaky skin. These conditions can clog up hair follicles, so preventing them with olive oil is extremely important.

Massaging the oil into your scalp will also improve blood flow throughout the area, so hair follicles are stimulated to grow thicker strands of hair.Neem can also be used for hair related problems. Azadirachta Indica (neem) and other parts of the neem are useful to prevent dandruff, hair loss and to prevent grey hair. The neem-based cream can be applied on the scalp before going for bathing to treat dandruff. Various shampoo and other products made of neem are also available in the market to prevent dandruff, hair loss and to keep hair healthy. It can also be used to prevent scalp related problems which keeps scalp healthy. Neem oil is mixed with almond oil and coconut oil to keep the hair healthy.

A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies evaluated hair oil formulations used for hair loss disorder.The researchers noted: “Hair plays a vital role in the personality of human and for their cure we use lots of cosmetic products. The fading (pigmentation problem), dandruff, alopecia (loss of hair) is the major problem associated with hairs. Ayurvedic system is the traditional system of medicine having major treatment across globe. The aim of study is to develop a hair oil formulation using Azadirachta indica/neem tree (leaves), Semecarpus anacardium (fruits)Trigonella foenum graecum (seeds), Cocos nucifera/coconut (oil) for better growth of hair and diminution in loss of hair (alopecia).”Nigerians are dying today of heart-related diseases due to the deleterious effects of cooking oils.

Recent studies have shown that more people die annually from Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) than from any other cause and more than 80 per cent of the global burden of CVD occur in low- and middle-income countries.

CVD is a class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels. CVD includes coronary artery diseases (CAD) such as angina and myocardial infarction (commonly known as a heart attack). Other CVDs include stroke, heart failure, hypertensive heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, cardiomyopathy, heart arrhythmia, congenital heart disease, valvular heart disease, carditis, aortic aneurysms, peripheral artery disease, thromboembolic disease, and venous thrombosis.

A new study by team of medical experts shows that coronary heart disease (CHD) deaths in Nigeria reached 53,836 or 2.82 per cent of total deaths, and are responsible for the greatest proportion of the total mortality due from non-communicable diseases (NCD). While in economically stable countries, death from cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases come from long and productive life, in developing countries almost half of such deaths occur among people in the prime of their age.

According to the study titled “Consensus Summit: Lipids and Cardiovascular Health in the Nigerian Population,” the upsurge of these diseases in the developing countries is as a result of increasing behavioral risk factors such as unhealthy nutrition, physical inactivity, tobacco use and alcohol which are modified by social determinants like poverty, urbanization and globalization.

The study conducted by team of researchers from various health and medical institutions in Nigeria and The Netherlands noted that other factors that can modulate predisposition include ageing and genetics. They, however, said most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing behavioral risk factors The experts observed that the publication of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Nigeria – National Nutrition Guidelines on Non-communicable Diseases Prevention, Control and Management address these issues.

The panel of experts include: Prof. Olujimi O. Akinkugbe, Dr. Kinsley Kayode Akinroye, Dr. O. Omueti and Dr. O. Mobolaji-Lawal of the Nigerian Heart Foundation (NHF), Nigeria; Dr. Y. A. Olukosi and Dr. O. Idigbe of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Nigeria; Prof. T. Atinmo of the Department of Human Nutrition, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria; Dr. C. F. Babasola, the Lead Nutrition Consultant, Xpert Solutions, Nigeria; Dr. A. Isah of the Department of Medicine, Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Benin, Edo State, Nigeria; Dr. C. O. Isokpunwu and O. Okojie of the Department of Nutrition, Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), Nigeria; Dr. A. Nasidi of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Abuja, Nigeria; Dr. O. J. Odia of the Department of Medicine, University of Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria; O. B. Ogunmoyela of the Post Graduate School, Bells University of Technology, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria; Dr. B. J. C. Onwubere of the Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria; Prof. Akin Osibogun of the Department of Community Health, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria; and R. Schilpzand of Choices International Foundation, The Netherlands.

According to the study, dietary fats and oils provide calories, essential fatty acids and are sources of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. However the lipid content of dietary fats and oils have a bearing on serum lipid profile, as dyslipidemia is associated with CVD risk.

They, however, noted that the effects of both the amount and quality of dietary fat have yielded conflicting results. Saturated fatty acids are associated with large less dense Low Density Lipo-protein (LDL) also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol while carbohydrates are associated with the denser small LDL particles that predispose to CVD. Positive relationship between CVD mortality and raised total cholesterol and raised total triglycerides at younger ages is reversed in seniors.

In current times, low High Density Lipo-protein (HDL)/ ‘good’ cholesterol of about 1 mmol/L and high total cholesterol: HDL cholesterol ratio or total triglyceride: HDL cholesterol ratio are the best-known indicators of CVD risk. Plasma concentration of apolipoprotein B the major protein carrier of LDL, Intermediate Density lipoprotein (IDL) and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), indicates the total number of potentially atherogenic particles, correlating with the non- HDL cholesterol levels. The ratio of apo B with apolipoprotein A-1 the major protein in HDL is best below 0.9 for men and 0.8 for women. Foods rich in saturated fatty acids (SFA), trans fatty acids, foods with high glycemic index or load, have been considered unhealthy, whereas, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUF A) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are considered beneficial.

More recent systematic research and meta-analysis however reveal that substituting SFA and MUFA calories in nutrition with PUFA did not reduce CVD events, although substituting five per cent of energy from either MUFAs or SFAs with the same amount of energy from carbohydrate was associated with 62–68 per cent higher CHD mortality.

Caloric restriction (CR) has proved to be the most effective and reproducible dietary intervention to increase healthy lifespan and aging, and strong evidence supports a valid reversed association of vegetables, nuts, the “Mediterranean” and high- quality dietary pattern with CHD.

The summit held in April 2016 at NIMR Yaba, Lagos, set out to evaluate information available on the relationship between dietary fats and CVD in the Nigerian context. The stakeholders reviewed the current situation and the best practices to adopt in the Nigerian population. The Summit deliberated on policy documents that are available and those that are yet to be put in place.

The Summit invited partners from the FMoH, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, NIMR, NCDC, National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), Research Institutes, 110 universities, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), consumers, food manufacturers and other relevant stakeholders to deliberate on this important issue.

At a plenary session the following presentations were made: “The Nigerian Heart Foundation Heart Check Food Labelling Programme”; “Current Status of Cardiovascular Diseases and Operational Policies in Nigeria”; “Dietary Lipids and Cardiovascular Disease in Nigeria”; “Palm oil and Heart health in Nigeria” and “Choices International healthy food programme”.

The NHF Heart Check Food Labelling Programme
NHF in its effort to reduce NCDs-related morbidity and mortality in Nigeria recognized that healthy diets play a major role in the prevention and control of NCDs. The initiative, “Nigerian Heart Foundation Heart Check Food Labelling Programme” was developed in 1998 in collaboration with the Federal Government of Nigeria parastatal – NAFDAC that regulates and controls the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, chemicals, medical devices and packaged water in Nigeria.

The NHF Heart Check Food Labelling Programme is voluntary. Companies that are interested subject their products to standardized nutrition profile evaluations, guided by a set of scientific criteria. The criteria was developed by the Nigerian Heart Foundation, and approved by NAFDAC. The criteria include approved levels of sodium, sugar, cholesterol and trans-fat. The Nigerian Heart Foundation grants permission to use the Logo on all packaged food items that fulfill the criteria. The Nigerian Heart Foundation Heart Check logo is used in all the geographic regions of Nigeria, and in a few countries in West Africa.

Current status of CDs and operational policies in Nigeria
According to the study, policies, plans and services for the prevention and control of NCDs need to take account of health and socio-economic changes throughout the life course.

Government policies aimed at tackling the challenge of NCDs include the mandatory fortification of wheat flour and vegetable oil with Vitamin A. The NAFDAC food fortification with Vitamin A regulations of 2005, addresses the prohibition of sales of the specified food vehicles, without adequate fortification with Vitamin A and labelling of Vitamin A fortified foods among others. The “National Nutrition Guideline on NCDs Prevention, Control and Management” and the “National Strategic Plan of Action for Nutrition” are policy documents that addresses Nutrition as priority areas for non-communicable diseases in Nigeria.

Palm oil and heart health in Nigeria
Raw red palm oil is a rich source of phytonutrients, carotenoids, tocopherols, tocotrienols, sterol, phospholipids and polyphenols. Refined palm oil is in mainly heat stable, largely tasteless and trans- fat free.

The argument against the use of palm oil is because it contains palmitic acid (44 per cent), a saturated fatty acid, which by extrapolation increases risk of cardiovascular disease. However, palm oil also contains oleic acid (40 per cent), which are monounsaturated and the major constituent of olive oil. Palm oil is also a very rich source of vitamins A and E as well as other anti- oxidants.

The expert panel recommends that red palm oil should be used within the limits of allowed total daily calorie intake from fats, as there is as yet no scientific evidence that shows that consumption of red palm oil, as part of a healthy balanced diet is harmful.

Manufacturing group
According to the study, many fats and oils manufacturing industries are found in Nigeria and many manufactured foods also contain quantities of fats and oils. Discussions in this group revolved round issues bothering on heart health in the Nigerian population as well as good manufacturing practices in the production of fats and oils.

There has been sub-optimal emphasis on heart healthy foods, which contribute to the low awareness of healthy foods in relation to heart health. Knowledge for healthy eating is however gradually building up as evidenced by fruit and vegetable salads sold by vendors on streets, fast-food outlets and supermarkets. Inability to afford these healthy foods classes limits the options by social class, contributing to making unhealthy food choices.

Some advertisements of calorie dense, low nutrient food products, target children and trigger poor snaking habits for unhealthy food type. The Summit observed that there is abundance of local sources of heart-friendly lipid products, which are yet to be fully tapped in Nigeria. Research and development to process local raw foods for storage and preserve them optimally will not only cater for the malnourished by preventing destruction of nutrients, but also reduce hunger by avoiding spoilage.

The expert panel said funding for industrial innovation should be sourced not only from the private sector but the government as well, so that we can develop technology specific to the local foods, taste, and in healthy forms. Heart-health benefits of many plant products such as ginger, garlic, garden eggs, bitter leaf, walnuts, and pears are profuse in literature and should be taken advantage of.

According to the study, food processing methods that are discouraged include smoking of food products as encountered in barbecues, open air roasting of corn and yams, repeated frying of oils in home use, including manufacturing and handling processes that change the integrity and composition of vegetable oils. Overheating, bleaching, hydrogenations are extreme treatment of food and food products, which usually degrade the nutritive value of the processed food and of oils in particular.

Therefore recycling of frying oils that hydrogenate and oxidize oils, are some deleterious effects conferred on fats and oils that should be discouraged. On the other hand, to preserve the antioxidants and vitamins in food and food products, boiling extraction methods of red palm oil preserves the B carotene and antioxidants better than refining process that produces tasteless white palm oil obtainable in the food manufacturing industries.

Although most oils in the market claim to have no or low cholesterol, it is not certain that they meet the cholesterol free standards by the CODEX criteria of less than, 0.005 g per 100 g solids, 0.005 g per 100 ml liquids with less than 1.5 g saturated fat per 100g solids or 0.75 g saturated fat per 100 ml liquids and 10% energy from saturated fats.

Compliance with local fortification regulations also needs to be verified for integrity of such oils to be acceptable.There are various dietary lipids available in the Nigerian markets, both of plant and animal origins, including groundnut oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil, soybean oil, sunflower seed oil, cotton seed oil, maize oil, palm oil and so on. Over 40 vegetable oils were published under different trade names as being available on the Nigerian market, but only four have been endorsed by NHF. These are established as cholesterol-free oil in the Nigerian market and their production promoted by the NHF heart friendly endorsement.

The Summit on cardiovascular health in the Nigerian population reached a consensus on all the points summarized in the different groups. The Summit agrees that there is a gap of scientific knowledge to be filled on lipids


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