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Why eating ants, grasshoppers, silkworms protect against cancer | The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News

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EDIBLE WINGED TERMITES

*They have more antioxidants than orange juice, researchers find
Eating ants and other insects could soon be recommended to protect against cancer, following a groundbreaking new study.

A series of experiments by Italian scientists show that the ubiquitous invertebrate – in common with others such as grasshoppers and crickets – contains high concentrations of antioxidants.

The compounds are important for reducing chemical reactions in the body that produce free radicals, which are themselves believed to raise the risk of cancer. They have also been linked to higher chances of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

Antioxidants are present in a range of foods, including fruit and vegetables.

However, many of these consumed in the United Kingdom (UK) have a poor carbon footprint.

Food scientists believe western consumers will have to begin incorporating insects into their diet in coming decades, so a group at the University of Rome set out to discover the invertebrates’ antioxidant potential.

They found that after grinding down the insects, many had several times the concentration of antioxidants found in orange juice or olive oil, two of the items most frequently recommended to limit free radicals.

The new study is published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

Water-soluble extracts of grasshoppers, silkworm and crickets displayed the highest values of antioxidant capacity, five-fold higher than fresh orange juice.

The scientists at the University of Rome ground down various insects including ants, grasshoppers, crickets and silkworm.

They then tested the powder to work out how many antioxidants – compounds such as vitamins A, C and E and beta-carotene – were in them.

Only the soluble parts of the insects were used – their wings and stingers were taken off first – with the view of them being consumed as a drink.

Meanwhile grasshoppers, black ants and mealworms contain the highest levels of total polyphenols, another way of characterising antioxidant potential.

Fat-soluble extracts of silkworm, giant cicada and Africa caterpillars showed an antioxidant capacity twice that of olive oil.

Prof. Mauro Serafini, who led the research, said: “At least two billion people – a quarter of the world’s population – regularly eat insects. The rest of us will need a bit more encouragement.

“Edible insects are an excellent source of protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, minerals, vitamins and fiber.

“But until now, nobody had compared them with classical functional foods such as olive oil or orange juice in terms of antioxidant activity.

“In the future, we might also adapt dietary regimens for insect rearing in order to increase their antioxidant content for animal or human consumption.”

Insects are gradually crawling their way into the UK diet.

Last November Sainsbury’s announced it would become the first British supermarket to stock edible bugs, launching Eat Grub’s Smoky BBQ Crunchy Roasted Crickets in 250 stores across the country.

The crickets are marketed as both a standalone snack or to garnish dishes such as tacos, noodles or salads.

In 2017 Deliveroo customers in parts of London started being able to order morsels such as spicy cricket rice cakes, salted cricket and smoked tomato salad, as well as buffalo worms wrapped in a beta leaf through the app.

For the new research, the team tested a range of commercially available edible insects and invertebrates, using various measures of antioxidant activity.

Inedible parts like wings and stings were removed, then the insects were ground and two parts extracted for each species: the fat, and anything remaining that would dissolve in water. Each extract was then tested separately.

The insects that were themselves vegetarian had much higher antioxidant capacity compared to those such as tarantulas and black scorpions.

Among the different species available for human consumption, Coleoptera (beetles), Lepidoptera (African caterpillars) and Hymenoptera (bees, wasps and ants) represent 31, 18 and 14 per cent of total insect consumption around the world respectively.

Until now several studies have shown that besides the traditional use of insects such as crickets, termites and grasshoppers as part of the Nigerian diet for their nutritive values, they could be bioengineered for the treatment of cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV), wounds, obesity, malnutrition among other benefits.

According to a 2013 report from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), around two billion people worldwide eat insects as part of a traditional diet – a practice known as entomophagy.

Beetles are the most commonly consumed insect, followed by caterpillars, bees, wasps, ants, grasshoppers, locusts, and crickets. All in all, more than 1,900 insect species are considered edible.

Entomophagy is a common practice in many parts of the world, including China, Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and some developing regions of Central and South America.

An earlier study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that insects could provide as much magnesium, iron, and other nutrients as steak.

And researchers at the American Chemical Society (ACS) found grasshoppers and crickets to be a far better source of many nutrients, particularly iron, compared to beef.

Grasshoppers, mealworms, termites and crickets all had higher concentrations of chemically available calcium, copper and zinc than the sirloin.

In Nigeria, termites are usually roasted and eaten as food, mostly during the rainy season.

Besides the use of termites as therapeutic resource for the treatment of asthma, hoarseness and sinusitis, wounds, malnutrition, nutrient deficiency and sickness of pregnant women, researchers have explored the use of insect natural products as potential source for alternative medicines.

Indian researchers from Department of Biological Sciences, Presidency University, Kolkata; Department of Zoology, Darjeeling Government College, West Bengal; and Department of Zoology, Scottish Church College, Kolkata explored developments in bioengineering natural products from insects with potential use in modern medicines as well as in utilisation of insects as models for studying essential mammalian processes such as immune responses to pathogens.

The study was published in World Science News.

Crickets promotes growth of good bacteria, reduces inflammation

But the most recent clinical trial published, last week, in Scientific Reports showed that consuming crickets can help support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and that eating crickets is not only safe at high doses but may also reduce inflammation in the body.

Crickets, like other insects, contain fibres, such as chitin, that are different from the dietary fibre found in foods like fruits and vegetables.

Fibre serves as a microbial food source and some types promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, also known as probiotics.

The new University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States (U.S.), trial probed whether insect fibres may influence the bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract.

More than two billion people around the world regularly consume insects, which are also a good source of protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats.

Twenty participants were involved in the University of Wisconsin-Madison study, which involved two different types of breakfasts. For the first fortnight, they had either a control breakfast or one containing 25g of powdered cricket meal made into muffins and shakes.

Each volunteer then reverted back to a normal diet for a two week ‘washout period’ in the middle of the study.

They then spent the last two weeks eating the breakfast they were not given in the first fortnight – either crickets or a control. Blood samples were collected from participants at the start, during and end of the study, published in Scientific Reports.

Meanwhile, the US researchers wanted to assess levels of blood glucose and enzymes, and for levels of TNF-alpha – a protein associated with inflammation.

And faecal samples were taken at the same time points to search for inflammatory chemicals in the gut and the make-up of the microbiota.

Anyone would pick a burger over a plateful of dried crickets. But according to a study in 2016, you should think twice before placing your order.

Nigeria

Gov AbdulRazaq urges youths to shun drug abuse, other vices

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Gov AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has called on Nigerian youths to shun drug abuse and other vices that could hinder them from realising their lifetime ambitions.

AbdulRazaq made the call on Wednesday when he received members of the state chapter of Scouts’ Association of Nigeria (SAN), led by its Commissioner, Deacon Olabisi Afolayinka, at the Government House, Ilorin.

The governor, who recalled, with nostalgia, his days as a scout boy in Capital School, Kaduna, said that the organisation had contributed immensely to nurturing youths to become good citizens and contribute to the development of the country.

“This is an association that prepares youths on how to be good citizens and how to relate with their fellow countrymen.

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“These are virtues that the youth of today should maintain. In our own days as youths, there were no rampant cases of drug abuse,” he said.

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The governor urged the youth to use their energy for productive ventures and join the organisation to make positive contributions to society.

AbdulRazaq, who was made the organisation’s Ambassador of Peace, promised to live up to expectations by giving necessary support to the body through relevant government agencies.

Earlier in his remarks, Afolayanka said that the constitution of the body automatically made the governor of any state its patron and the president grand patron.

He commended AbdulRazaq for the audience granted the association, saying that this was the first time any governor would be hosting them in the state in the last 21 years.

Afolayanka said that the association was founded to build young boys and girls to make useful contributions to the country.

The SAN commissioner noted that cultism and other vices were not rampant in schools in the past when the scouts held sway.

He urged the governor to continue to support the association for effective discharge of its responsibilities in the state.

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Nigeria

NYSC: Bwari assures Corp members improved welfare

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The Chairman of Bwari Area Council, Mr John Gabaya has assured members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) of his administration’s readiness to improve on their welfare.

Gabaya gave the assurance when representatives of the FCT NYSC Secretariat, and some members of the NYSC 2019 Batch B’, paid him a courtesy visit on Wednesday in Abuja.

Gabaya, who appreciated the team for the gesture, said that it was the duty of the council, as host of the NYSC Orientation Camp in the city to ensure it gave the Corps maximum support.

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He acknowledged the fact that the camp in Kubwa, was faced with infrastructure challenges, adding that efforts would be made to amendments it and bring succour to the corps members.

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“The council, in its capacity, alongside the management of the scheme, would meet and discuss how it would make the development feasible including our best effort to add a little raise to their allowance,” Gabaya said.

Earlier, the NYSC FCT Coordinator, Mrs Waleeda Isa, said the visit was to acquaint its officials with the new administration of the council as host of the orientation camp.

Isa decried the sorry state of infrastructure at the NYSC camp, saying “their lodge in the camp is dilapidated and needs attention”.

“Also, it would go a long way for those who serve under the council, if your administration can kindly add a little to their allowance to augment what the Federal Government is giving them.

“We will be honoured if you make these efforts so that we feel your presence and know that you have us at heart,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NYSC 2019 Batch B’ corp members have reported and would be inaugurated at the orientation camp on Aug. 22.

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Nigeria

Lagos govt boosts MCC services in Eti-Osa Tribune Online

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THE Lagos State Government says it has completed yet another Maternal and Childcare Centre (MCC) located in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of the state to increase residents’ access to qualitative maternal and child healthcare.

The state Commissioner of Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, made this known on Wednesday in Lagos during an advocacy meeting with community leaders and residents of Badore.

Abayomi was represented by the Director of Projects, Ministry of Health, Dr Olusola Oduwole.

He said that the continuous implementation of strategic maternal child survival interventions, policies, programmes and projects by the government was geared toward the reduction of maternal and child mortality in the state.

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According to him, the local and national statistics of maternal and child mortality and morbidity rate are of utmost concern to the government hence, the adoption of various strategies to combat it.

“One of these strategies is the construction of MCC, a specialised healthcare centre for mothers and children.

“It is aimed at taking maternal and child healthcare closer to the people by reducing the travel time and improving the quality care to the highest possible standard,” the commissioner said.

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Abayomi said that the MCC was located on Ogombo Road along Abraham Adesanya Estate in Eti-Osa local government area.

According to him, the facility is a four-floored 110-bed complex designed to respond to maternal and child health issues.

“It will provide quality services for the restoration, improvement and promotion of the health and well-being of women, babies and children in the local government area and adjoining communities.

“It has two theatres where surgeries can be done; consulting rooms; treatment rooms, antenatal and postnatal wards; baby nursery; pharmacy, laboratory and offices, among others,” he said.

Abayomi said that the construction of MCCs in the state was designed to stem the tide of maternal deaths which occurred as a result of delivery by unskilled birth attendants, haemorrhage, infection, obstructed labour and malaria, among others.

He said that women should not die in the course of life procreation process.

“The concept of the construction of MCCs was mooted with the conviction that these interventions will impact positively on the health indices of our mothers and children who constitute a significant percentage of clients attended to at public health facilities.

“The Eti-Osa MCC will commence operation before the end of the week and will serve as a referral centre to all primary health facilities in Eti-Osa local government and accompanying communities.

“It will yield the much desired and anticipated impact towards the reduction of maternal and child mortality in the area,” the commissioner said.

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Nigeria

Psychiatric resident doctors vow to continue strike %

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THE Association of Resident Doctors, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, has resolved to continue its ongoing indefinite strike demanding for optimal mental healthcare for patients.

The President of the association, Dr Afeez Enifeni, said in a statement on Wednesday, in Lagos, that the strike would continue until the management addressed the work experience of the overworked doctors.

Enifeni said that the doctors had on Aug. 19 held a meeting to review the current industrial action.

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The doctors accused the hospital management of being insensitive to the plight of the in and outpatients, who according to him, are receiving suboptimal mental health services.

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“The hospital management has blatantly refused to replace the annual exit of resident doctors for the past four years.

“Instead, they have let patient load and clinical work increase significantly for hapless resident doctors whose health and academic pursuits have suffered irreparably.

“In light of the above, the management’s insistence on employing only five locum doctors is highly provocative of our demands.

“It hardly improves the status quo which already puts overworked resident doctors at the brink of academic failure, health challenges and malpractice suits,” he said.

He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the hospital’s management to do the needful in line with the administration’s next level agenda.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the resident doctors had embarked on an indefinite strike on July 31 over non-employment of more resident doctors at the hospital.

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Nigeria

AIDS: Society says self-stigma more destructive than HIV/AIDS

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THE Coalition of Civil Society Network on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (COCSNHAN) on Wednesday said that self-stigma was more destructive to people living with HIV than the disease.

Mr Ikenna Nwakamma, first Co-chairman of the society, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that it was the major reason people living with HIV default from treatments.

Nwakamma, who called for the incorporation of mental health services in the national HIV programme, said it was imperative to rescue patients from the dangers of self-stigma.

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“Very important, the issues of self-stigma is hardly talked about and that is even more destructive; it is the major reason people living with HIV default in their treatment,” he said.

The society’s co-chairman explained that mental health would make people living with HIV become co-managers of their health.

According to him, mental health problems among people living with HIV is the new epidemic and we must deal with it squarely.

Nwakamma restated the plans of the society to set up a monitoring system that would capture and report cases of stigma and discrimination in health facilities.

He promised that any identified case would be used to send a strong warning to others.

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