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Concoction of tomato paste and cola drink increases blood levels – Research

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A mixture of tomato paste and cola drink causes a significant increase in blood levels, indicating an anti-anaemic potential.

This conclusion was arrived at in a study conducted by scientists at the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science Technology.

The scientists sought to investigate the alternative means of increasing blood levels in anaemic patients, to the known orthodox use of blood tonics.

The combination is also said to have improved the menstrual flow of reproductive women.

Josephine Apenyo, a primary school teacher, was once anaemic but took cola drink and tomato paste.

“I was diagnosed with a disease in my tummy, so I went under operation. After the operation I started feeling dizzy and bleeding. The nurses checked my blood level and it was 4.7 g/dl. In fact it was alarming,” said Josephine, a primary school teacher.

She looked pale after the operation, a symptom of having a low blood level.

As a royal, she is customarily not permitted to be transfused with blood from any person but someone of her kind.

“I am royal. And in my family, we don’t take blood from anyone unless a relative. But time it, was crucial so I desperately needed an alternative to restore my blood level,” she said.

Anaemia is a medical term for low red blood cell levels.

As an urgent public health crisis, the medical condition affects women, pregnant mothers and mostly children.

WHO estimates over 40% of children under 5 years are anaemic.

Nutritional deficiencies such as insufficient Iron supply and infectious diseases, including Malaria are some of its common causes.

Traditional remedies for treating anaemia

“My daughter after giving birth told me she was feeling dizzy because she had a lower blood level. So, I boiled turkey berries in water and prepared a cocoa beverage with it for her,” Eno Yaa, a pepper seller at Ayigya market said.

Abena Dufie, also a vendor at the market, says “my daughter is pregnant. When she visited the hospital few weeks ago, the doctor told her she had a lower blood level. But because I knew the turkey berries prepared into a beverage would help increase her blood level, I prepared one for her”.

But have you heard of the cola drink and tomato paste mix for treating anaemia?

The mixture prepared from scoops of tomato paste diluted in some millilitres of the coca beverage has been saving several lives in Ghana including that of Josephine.

“When you mix it, it looks like blood. So, I think when you take it the body perceives it to be blood and naturally increases your blood level. I can’t tell if it’s psychological,” said, Josephine, now physically strong.

She indicated the mixture has now become an emergency blood tonic whenever she feels dizzy and has a lower blood level.

“I was recently feeling a bit dizzy so I took some. Even though it doesn’t really taste nice. But I am used to it now,” she said.

Scientific basis of combination of Cola drink and tomato paste in managing anaemia

Interestingly, a research published in the Scientect journal is confirming the use of this traditional remedy.

The study conducted by researchers at the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, KNUST revealed a significant increase in red blood cell volume.

Professor Felix Mills-Robertson indicated some components including Vitamin C and Iron contained in the mixture contributes to increasing the blood level.

“There was an observed general increase in the haemoglobin concentration, red blood cell count and packed cell volume. Some studies conducted revealed the presence of minerals and vitamins as the major blood forming factors responsible for the anti-anaemic potential.

“The major nutritional constituents of the cola drinks and tomato paste are ascorbic acid, folate, vitamin B12, magnesium and vitamin D. These components stimulate the formation of red blood cell which cause the increase in blood and heamoglobin levels.

“The mixture is safe for consumption and has no toxicity,” he said.

With half a billion women of reproductive age being affected by anemia, the mixture comes in handy.

Roberta Nyarkoaa, a teaching assistant, recounted her blood flow during a menstrual period was heavy and normal when she took the mixture.

“Surprisingly, during that week I was having my menses. When I did a full blood count, it was higher than the previous weeks where I hadn’t taken the mixture,” she said.

“There was one student at Achimota School, anytime she has her menses she sometimes faints. So once takes it she becomes okay,” Prof. Mills-Robertson added.

As the scientists seek to extend the study to expectant mothers, the concoction could potentially reduce the over 45% incidence of anaemic pregnant women in Ghana.

It could also alleviate the number of maternal deaths recorded in Ghana stemming from anaemia.

 

Source: Joy News

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