As Unilorin Researchers Recommend Pineapple in COVID-19 Management

By Muhammad M. Isa

The long awaited breakthrough in Nigerian Medical Sciences, particularly on COVID-19, has finally been achieved, as a team of researchers at the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) has established the capacity of Bromelain derivable from pineapple fruits in the management of COVID-19 cases.

According to the University of Ilorin Bulletin, the discovery is in conjunction with Prof. Bamidele Owoeye, the Head, Department of Physiology, and Mr. Ahmed Bakare, a Ph.D. candidate at the university.

The publication is entitled: “Bromelain reduced Pro-Inflammatory Mediators as A Common Pathway that Mediate Antinociceptive and Anti-anxiety Effects in Sciatic Nerve Litigated Wistar Rats.”

“The study, which was conducted at the university and derived from the doctoral thesis of Bakare, has shown that pineapple fruits could be more beneficial to the body, especially in the treatment of pain resulting from nerve injuries called Neuropathic.

“It was also clear that while bromelain, derived from pineapple fruits, could relieve the pain from nerve injuries, it also nourishes the injured nerves thereby helping to minimise the injury,” he said.

Owoeye added that bromelain had the capacity to enhance the functions of injured nerves by reducing the activities and concentration of inflammatory chemicals that are generated when nerves are injured.

He therefore drew the attention of the concerned authorities to the potency of bromelain/pineapple in the management of COVID-19 because the pineapple fruits contain bromelain which actively reduces cytokines concentration, which are implicated in the destructive actions of COVID-19.

The don, who is also the Regional Secretary for West Africa Society of Neuroscientists of Africa (SONA), commended the Director of the Central Research Laboratories, University of Ilorin, Prof. Musa Yakubu, for the support he granted his team, which enabled the publication of the article in the Scientific Reports.

He added that without the support it would have remained a mere dream considering the fact that the researcher, Bakare, could not raise the sum of 1,690 pounds requested by the globally renowned journal publication.

Owoeye explained that it was the intervention of Yakubu, which eventuated in the waiving of the charges for the publication that was now attracting the attention of the global scientific community.

He described the research as a work that had the potential of addressing many health challenges particularly the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic.

The don urged the management of the university to institutionalise a reward system that would encourage more scientific breakthroughs among researchers at the university, especially among its students.

Contributing, the Dean of the Postgraduate School, University of Ilorin, Prof. Gafar Bello, commended the researchers for a job well done, which he said would further confirm the position of the university at the global level.

He described the publication as a measure of good research and commended Bakare for promoting the visibility of the University of Ilorin.

Bello, however, decried the fraudulent activities of some senior academics who hijacked the works of their supervisees.

He assured researchers that the management of the university would consider a way of rewarding excellence among students, especially those at the postgraduate level.

“This is in addition to the prime prize often given to the researcher of the Year,” he said.

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