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Omidun better than ogi in diarrhoea control - Scientists.

Diarrhoea is the second leading cause of death among children under five globally (Nearly one in five children's - about 1.5 million each year)

Although diarrhoea causes discomfort and at times stomach aches, it is one condition that should not be taken for granted as it can cause death, especially when dehydration occurs.

Oral rehydration therapy has been the key strategy for effective diarrhoea. However, it often fails when the frequency of stooling is high. Moreover, the use of drugs that prevent passage of stool is not advisable in diarrhoea caused by an infection.

In the recent past, there have been advances towards developing cost-effective alternative approaches for the treatment of diarrhoea using medicinal plants. In fact, there has been over 200 studies on herbal remedies used in the treatment of diarrhoea.

Whilst a few studies have reported treating the diarrhoea by killing the germ responsible for the condition, a majority of the studies had focused on the effect of the plants reducing the frequency of passage of watery stool in laboratory animals.

Of course, some other convention remedies for diarrhoea such as ogi or akamu (in Igbo) indeed have a scientific basis for their effectiveness in ameliorating diarrhoea.

Howbeit, researchers have reported that omidun (the ogi supernatant) is more effective in ameliorating diarrhoea than uncooked ogi slurry or cooked ogi.

Ogi is an acid fermented cereal gruel made from maize or corn, sorghum and millet. It consists of smooth cereal sediments and fermented water on top called omidun, omikan or omi ogi.

It is the most popular traditional health-sustaining fermented food in Western Nigeria and serves as weaning foods for infants in this region.

In some communities in south-western Nigeria, raw ogi is normally administered to people suffering from gastroenteritis, also known as infectious diarrhoea, to reduce/minimise its discomforts.

In this study, it was observed that omidun (the ogi supernatant) had the highest load of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), the beneficial microorganisms, followed by the uncooked ogi slurry while cooked ogi has the lowest number of viable LAB.

The ogi samples (Yellow, white, sorghum) were obtained from different markest and ogi control (cooked, uncooked and omidun) were prepared with the viable counts of bacteria monitored over five days period. The LAB was isolated from the varieties and identified by scientific methods.

The 2017 study in Pan African Medical Journal involved Ayorinde Oluwatobiloba Afolayan and Funmilola Abidemi Ayeni from the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan, in collaboration with Werner Ruppitsch from the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, Vienna, Austria.

Yellow ogi had the highest amount of LAB, the beneficial microorganisms while white ogi was the least. Also, in ogi control, the viable counts of LAB in omidun increases with increasing days of fermentation.

The lactic acid bacteria strains isolated from the ogi was active against three disease-causing germs in the intestines- Shigella, Salmonella and Escherichia coli.

The uncooked ogi maintained a steady count of LAB, throughout the five days of fermentation while the cooked ogi had the lowest count. These reinforce the standard knowledge that cooking reduces beneficial microorganisms in fermented staple foods.

Previously, researchers had substantiated the folkloric claim of musa paradisiaca sap, guava leaves, nutmeg and mango leaves in the management of diarrhoea. In an animal study, the researchers found that the musa paradisiaca sap significantly prolonged the onset time of diarrhoea, decreased the number, fresh weight, and water content of faeces, and increased the inhibition of defecations.

The 2015 study published in the journal, Evidence-Based Complement Alternative Medicine, indicated that the effectiveness was dose-dependent and comparable with loperamide, a conventional drug for diarrhoea.

The 2015 study, published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology stated that the water extract of mango leaves dose-dependently decreased the number, water content, fresh weight and the total number of wet faeces and increased the inhibition of defecations, making mango leaves an effective home remedy for diarrhoea.

Researchers written in the 2010 edition of the journal, BMC Complement Alternative Medicine proposed that water extract of guava leaves works on diarrhoea through four mechanisms.

Among other things, the water extract of the guava leaves kills the germ responsible for the problem, slows down the movement of wastes passing through the intestine and inhibits increased water secretion, so strengthening the ethnomedical usage of guava leaf in different forms of diarrhoea.
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Publication:Nigerian Tribune (Oyo State, Nigeria)
Date:Oct 25, 2018
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