Oluwatosin Adaramoye, Professor of Biochemistry, UI
A Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Ibadan, Oluwatosin Adaramoye, has advised the deliberate intake of herbs as a proactive approach to lifestyle to prevent diseases, improve health, and enhance the quality of life and sense of well-being.
Adaramoye gave the advice while delivering the 530th Inaugural Lecture of the University of Ibadan, entitled “Herbs and Wellness: Memoirs of a Xenobiochemist”, on behalf of the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences.
The Professor submitted that herbs may provide a solid foundation for wellness and, in turn, help to prevent and overcome diseases, both at present and in the future. He identified such herbs as ginger, red yeast rice, garcinia kola seeds, turmeric, jasmine, and African guinea pepper, as medicinal plants that contain substances that could be used for therapeutic purposes or as precursors for the synthesis of other drugs.
Having worked extensively with herbs, Professor Adaramoye submitted that the contribution of herbs to the treatment and prevention of diseases is enormous. He said he examined the relationship between herbs, cancer, and inflammation and found out that about 60 per cent of currently used anti-cancer agents are derived, in one way or another, from natural resources, including plants, marine organisms and micro-organisms.
Adaramoye submitted that many plant-derived compounds have been isolated so far and are currently under clinical trials. He, however, cautioned that there are some drawbacks that include the presence of certain toxic or potentially carcinogenic agents in some herbs, adding that the drawbacks call for detailed and proper research to identify the bioactive components and their specific functions in herbs.
Professor Adaramoye advised that accessibility to the right equipment remained crucial and called for the reintroduction of the Senate Research Grant, as well as an enabling environment, where competitive grants, uninterrupted power supply and well-equipped laboratories are readily available to promote research.