A professor of Pharmacognosy, Maurice Iwu, has advocated the importance of a healthy lifestyle, the use of probiotics to improve overall well-being, and avoidance of purgatives and irrational use of antibiotics.
He gave the recommendations while making his presentations as a Keynote Speaker at the just concluded mostly virtual Covenant University 2nd Pharma Foods Congress, with the theme: ‘Functional Foods and Phyto-Medicine: Eat Right, Stay Healthy and Live Long.’
Professor Iwu, a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), stated that the African continent had lots of functional foods beneficial to humans, with functional foods having epigenetic roles that impacted the quality of life. He pointed out the importance of a healthy lifestyle, stating that “when treated right, the human body knows how to protect, fight, and heal itself”.
Professor Iwu revealed efforts by his research team at developing a nub IHP DETOX TEA with potential antiviral activity against SARS coronavirus. The invention, he said, had unique mechanisms other than that of Remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine. He explained that the tea was produced from three indigenous plants, and would undergo clinical trials.
He gave the conceptual framework for moving Nigeria from pharmaceutical consumer nation to producer of drugs from natural products. He also highlighted efforts in standardizing protocols for natural products and the rich bio-resources from Nigeria.
The Vice-Chancellor of Covenant University, Professor AAA. Atayero, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Akan Williams, while making his remarks, noted that as a world-class University, Covenant promoted collaborative and multidisciplinary research which could reduce the burden of under-nutrition, infectious and other non-communicable diseases. He appreciated the planning committee of the event and declared the conference open.
In his remarks, the Local Organizing Committee Chairman and immediate past Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Covenant, Professor Shalom Chinedu, welcomed all guests and participants to the second edition of the conference and commended the society at large for selecting Covenant University as a prime University to host this year’s congress amidst the current global pandemic.
Convener of the congress, Professor Ganiyu Oboh, who is the Director, Centre for Research and Development, Federal University of Technology, Akure, reiterated the timeliness of Pharma Foods Congress aimed at discussing how to combat global health challenges using functional foods for sustainable health.
The Head of Department, Biochemistry, Professor Olubanke Ogunlana, highlighted the roles that functional foods could play in delivering Sustainable Development Goals of alleviating poverty, providing good health, and lasting solutions to other national health issues. While the Dean, College of Science and Technology, Professor Victor Omotosho, said that Covenant University was rightly positioned as a world-class University to advance health. That perspective from this congress would help to achieve a healthier nation by discussing applications in medicine, agriculture, and other fields, he added.
The conference featured full plenary sessions, a roundtable session, and technical sessions which explored the sub-topics of the event.