A Professor of Medical Microbiology (Infections and Immunity) at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA, Tinuola Adebolu has warned that most antibiotics can have undesirable side effects on the consumers and therefore indigenous foods and herbs should serve as alternatives. She made this known while delivering the University’s 88th Inaugural lecture titled, ‘Mechanisms of Adaptive Immunity and The Endless Battle Against Diarrhoeagenic Bacteria’ held at the Institutions main auditorium on Tuesday, July 11th. According to her, “Indigenous foods and herbs which are readily available in the community such as the ones researched into can be used in treating infection. More so that they are foods that we normally consume with no side effect. We should let food be our medicine. They should, however, be consumed as close to nature as possible, that is in their raw state.”
Adebolu said “, “Ogi”, cheese whey, honey, garlic and beniseed have antibacterial, antidiarrhoeatic, immunomodulatory and immunostimulatory effects that can be exploited in treating individuals suffering from bacterial diarrhoea, especially in rural communities where they might not have quick access to orthodox therapy. Adebolu said that raw “Ogi” used in making pap and other components are highly potent in curing diarrhoea. This according to her might go a long way to reduce the morbidity and mortality that accompany such illnesses, especially in children.” The Lecturer also recommended same for urban dwellers saying “these materials can also be used by people dwelling in the cities as alternatives to conventional antibiotics since some of the antibiotics being used in treating this infection can also induce diarrhea and also because most of the bacterial causing diseases have developed resistance to some of the commonly available antibiotics.”
Professor Adebolu, a product of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife recommended that more research work should be done, especially on indigenous foods or raw materials in order to discover more foods or raw materials that can be used locally in treating bacterial diarrhoea because these foods do not only compose bioactive components that kill diarrhoeagenic bacterial responsible for the illness but also possess components that replenish lost materials, electrolytes, fluid and also have immunomodulatory and immunostimulatory potentials.
She warned against over dependence on vaccines produced from outside the country since there are divergent strains and serotypes of diarrhoeagenic bacterial that are implicated in different regions of the world. Adebolu further recommended that more research work should be carried out on herbal preparations in order to determine the level of effectiveness, biosafety, mechanism of action, proper dosage and mode of preparation for maximal efficacy of such preparations in treating diarrhoea.
Presenting the lecturer, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape described her as an erudite scholar who has contributed greatly to knowledge in her field. He said Professor Adebolu stands out in her field of study, having churned out a number of graduates and post graduates students and contributed significantly to the development of the university and human capital development.