An Interdisciplinary Study
Edited By Sunday Paul Bako and Frank Olwari
Assessing the impact of plant-based protein products on human health and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa (Cyril Ifeanyi Duruigbo) 20
ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF PLANT- BASED PROTEIN PRODUCTS ON HUMAN HEALTH AND NUTRITION IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Cyril Ifeanyi Duruigbo Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria Abstract The consumption of plant-based protein products offers a better alternative to animal-based proteins which is associated with high levels of cholesterol content that blocks up the blood arteries and veins leading to high blood pressure and stroke, kidney failure and osteoporosis as well as cardio-vesicular diseases. Soybean protein is particularly nutritive with anti-cholesterol agents, reduces prostate cancer, stimulates the increased production of hormones that prevent insulin fluctuations and helps reduce visceral fat in man. It is thus recommended as a viable protein supplement to millions of poverty-stricken sub-Saharan Africans who may not afford the high cost of animal-based protein products with its adverse health and cost implications. Introduction Proteins are extremely complex substances made up of many amino acids which are the structural unit of proteins. Amino acid is the basic unit from which protein is synthesized and into which it is converted in the course of digestion and catabolism - the breakdown of body tissue (Helen, 1979). The protein or amino acids ingested by an animal provides the nitrogen required for the body’s growth, tissue maintenance, reproduction and lactation. Protein intake requirements vary with the type of animal, age and the performance expected of it. Approximately ten amino acids are considered essential for the growing animal. An essential amino acid can be defined as one, which cannot be synthesized at a sufficiently rapid...
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