The proximate analysis comprising the carbohydrate, crude protein, crude fibre, ash and moisture contents, and the minerals analysis of two major edible varieties of Dioscorea dumentorum (Esuru), commonly consumed in Ekiti State, Nigeria were estimated after a period of storage using standard chemical methods. The crude protein percentage for stored yellow and white varieties are 3.13 and 2.50 respectively. This is contrary to that of fresh varieties whose crude protein percentages for the yellow and white varieties are 8.24 and 5.44 respectively. The results reveal a significant decrease in protein content in stored Discorea dumentorum varieties compared with previous work on fresh varieties. The crude fat content for the stored yellow and white varieties are 6.07 and 6.88% respectively, while the ash content and the crude fibre contents for the stored yellow and white varieties are 2.80, 2.53 and 1.73 and 1.79% respectively. The carbohydrate contents of the two varieties are 26.97 and 21.33% in the same order. The presence of important minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and zinc at a very high level showed that bitter yam would find some useful application in the food and pharmaceutical industries.
In this article, we present the elemental concentrations determined by INAA for 30 elements measured in some or all head hair samples of 100 Nigerian subjects and 20 elements in the fingernails of some of the same subjects. Measurements of the skewness of the distribution of each element in both tissues confirm previous reports that many tend toward a log-normal distribution. Thus, their concentrations in the tissues may not be under any homeostatic control. The ranges of elemental concentrations together with the medians, and the arithmetic and geometric means, with their respective standard deviations are presented and compared with literature values for other populations. Correlations between elements detected in hair are also sought.
The radioactivity of the Opa river -irrigated farmlands in the south western Nigeria was determined using an HpGe based, low-level passive gamma-counting system. With the exception of two isotopes, the main radionuclides analysed in the sample were the progenies of 23SU and 232Th. The other two isotopes were the naturally occurring 4~ and the anthropogenic 137Cs. The result obtained showed elevated levels of radioactivity from all detected radionuclides compared to the published data for this area. Enhanced levels of naturally occurring radionuclides is attributed to the use of phosphatic fertilizers for dry season vegetable cultivation along this river banks. Tbe presence of the fission product 137Cs could be traced to the fallouts occasioned by the various French nuclear tests in the Sahara desert, and probably, some effect of the more recent nuclear reactor accident at Chernobyl in 1986.
Blood levels of the elements Cu, Zn, Se, As, Cd, Hg, and Pb have been determined in 62 Nigerian women who were occupationally exposed to vehicular pollution. Mercury was determined using a direct mercury analyzer, while all the other elements were determined by an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer system. The mean values for all the toxic elements were all within the recommended desirable/tolerable limits, except for Se (0.44 μg/mL, compared with <0.2 μg/mL recommended by the WHO). More than 98% of the subjects had blood selenium levels higher than this recommended limit. For As, Hg, and Pb, the corresponding figures of subjects with blood levels above the recommended limits were 4, 8, and 19.3%, respectively. When the subjects were grouped according to their body mass indexes as normal, underweight, overweight, and obese, analysis of variance shows that mean blood levels of Cu, As, and, to some extent Hg were significantly different in the four nutritional status groups. Blood Hg level correlates significantly with blood As in all the groups, except in obese subjects. Also, a significant correlation between age and blood Hg was observed only in normal subjects and between age and blood Pb only in obese subjects. These results suggest that nutritional status could influence both elemental levels and the interactions between trace elements in the blood of female subjects. Nutrition is therefore a factor to consider in efforts to modify human susceptibility to toxic elements.
Some nutritional parameters were investigated in 62 healthy Nigerian female subjects of low socio-economic status. The percentage body fat (% BF) and some biochemical parameters, High and Low Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDL-C and LDL-C), Total Plasma Cholesterol (TC), Triglyceride (TG), Uric Acid (UA), Urinary Creatinine (U-Cr), Creatinine in plasma (P-Cr) and Creatinine clearance (Cr-CI), were evaluated. Also determined were the Body Mass Index (BMI), Packed Cell Volume, Systolic and Diastolic Blood Pressure (BP-I, BP-2), various skin-fold measurements and body circumferences. Reference values were then established for these various parameters and the correlation between the various variables determined. When the subjects were stratified into four groups (underweight, normal, overweight, and obese) based on their BMI, significant differences (ANOVA, p < 0.05) were observed in LDL-C, Cr-CI, BP-I, as well as 10 out of the 13 anthropometric parameters. These differences could possibly provide diagnostic/prognostic insight for the four groups and the many important diseases associated with them. The hip circumference, in particular, has such a high correlation with both BMI and % BF that it is being suggested as a substitute for these two important parameters in Nigerian women of low socio-economic background.
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