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Promoting Non-Animal Protein Sources in Sub-Saharan Africa

An Interdisciplinary Study

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Edited By Sunday Paul Bako and Frank Olwari

The research results point to the need of sustaining plant protein sources to large populations in sub-Saharan Africa that have no access to meat. Proteins are essential components of the human body and therefore indispensable for human life. Malnutrition and diseases are often caused because of the lack of sufficient proteins. Since animal sources of protein are out of reach to more than 85% of the people of sub-Saharan Africa, the challenge is to make protein otherwise accessible, available and affordable to the ordinary man. Owing to the influence of climate change and population explosion, the situation at discussion will exacerbate within the coming decade. Therefore non-animal protein must be brought into focus in order to prevent major diseases of malnutrition.

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Assessing the impact of plant-based protein products on human health and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa (Cyril Ifeanyi Duruigbo) 20

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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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