Studies from University of Port Harcourt Add New Findings in the Area of Complementary Medicine (Health risks from lost awareness of cultural behaviours rooted in traditional medicine: An insight in geophagy and mineral intake)
By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Health Medicine Week — Investigators publish new report on Complementary Medicine. According to news reporting from Port Harcourt, Nigeria, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, “The term geophagy is applied to the recurrent intentional eating of soil with multifactorial motivation. Geophagists are generally defined by gender (women), age (children), physical status (e.g. pregnancy, lactation, postpartum), social status (people exposed to significant nutritional deficiencies), and culture, but lost awareness of traditional medical meaning of this practice is changing these consumption patterns and increasing health risks.”
The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from the University of Port Harcourt, “Moreover, although the holistic anthropological perspective recognizes soil consumption as mineral supplementation under certain circumstances, we should consider how the living environment has changed and is changing, along with diet, nutrition requirements, and habits. Therefore, benefits-to-risks ratio of cultural behaviours initiated centuries ago based on traditional medical practices requires deep revision and assessment. Knowledge on minerals metabolism, bioavailability and interactions is required to properly assess the role of geophagy in a balanced and safe intake of micronutrients. Most important, the risk of unbalanced intake of minerals may be serious since the mineralogy and chemistry of geophagic clays are uncontrolled, variable, and difficult to standardize. In addition, other factors (radioactive materials, organic chemicals and soil pathogens) complicate the risk assessment for population groups consuming soil.”
According to the news reporters, the research concluded: “Since the geophagic practice is expected to persist despite economic development, the paper discusses the multifaceted spectrum of geophagy to highlight critical aspects for risk management.”
For more information on this research see: Health risks from lost awareness of cultural behaviours rooted in traditional medicine: An insight in geophagy and mineral intake. Science of the Total Environment, 2016;566():1465-1471. Science of the Total Environment can be contacted at: Elsevier Science Bv, PO Box 211, 1000 Ae Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Elsevier – www.elsevier.com; Science of the Total Environment – www.journals.elsevier.com/science-of-the-total-environment/)
Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting C. Frazzoli, Univ Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. Additional authors for this research include G.B. Pouokam, A. Mantovani and O.E. Orisakwe (see also Complementary Medicine).
Keywords for this news article include: Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Africa, Complementary Medicine, Traditional Medicine, Risk and Prevention, Complementary Therapy, University of Port Harcourt.
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