By Oluwakemi Oladipo
Lagos – A nutritionist and biochemist, Dr Ochuko Erikainure, has advised people, especially women to always seek health professionals’ advice before taking natural products for weight and belly fat reduction.
Erukainure, a Senior Research Officer at the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO), Oshodi, Lagos, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said that the issues of standardisation, characterisation and preparation were major challenges facing health safety on intake of natural products for weight and belly fat reduction.
Erukainure said that consumption of natural products with other drugs might inhibit or increase their activities leading to adverse effects.
“A good example is when garlic is taking at higher doses with anticogulant medications, which can lead to higher risk of bleeding.
“The use of natural products in weight reduction, particularly belly fats in women has been in practice from the ancient days.
“Among such plants are lime, lemon and spices such as ginger, garlic and curcumin. Lime and lemon are citrus fruits, peculiar for their high vitamin C content.
“Both fruits are rich in phytochemicals such as limonene, flavonoids and limonoids which possess the abilities to reduce cholesterol levels in the body,” Erukainure said.
According to him, garlic is also a major plant used in the reduction of belly fat, body fat production as well as blood glucose level.
“Nutritionally, it is rich in vitamins B1 and B5, calcium, zinc and iron.
“It is regarded as an appetite suppressant as it modulates the brain’s sensitivity to leptin (a hormone that helps to regulate energy balance by inhibiting hunger),’’ Erukainure said.
He said that extracts of these plants were often utilised in combination as concoction which might pose threat to human health.
“This, in turn triggers series of reactions with detrimental consequences such as bleeding and ulcer, “Erukainure said.