A Senior Research Scientist, Mr Ochuko Erukainure, on Wednesday said excessive consumption of potash would reduce sperm production and cause testicular injury.
Erukainure, who works at the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO), Oshodi, made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia says: “Potash is any of various mined and manufactured salts that contain potassium in water-soluble form.’’
According to him, the public is advised to consume potash at minimal rate because it is also one of the major causes of renal injury.
The researcher said that potash, fondly called “akanwu’’ in Igbo Language, “kanwa’’ in Hausa and “kaun’’ in Yoruba, is very high in sodium and poses health hazards on human beings.
Erukainure said that potash was commonly used in the preparation of `ewedu’ and okro soups to boost the thickness and increase the greenness and texture of the soups.
He said: “It is a substance that is used in some parts of Nigeria to tenderise foods and shorten cooking time, but it is not healthy for consumption, particularly by men.
A recent research conducted by scientists in FIIRO, in collaboration with Biochemistry Department, Bells University in Ota, shows that consumption of potash injures testicules and thereby causes infertility in men.
“Potash brings about its effect by suppressing steroidogenesis (a process by which sperm is formed) and alters the histology of the testicular tissues.
“Excessive high concentration of sodium in the potash was identified to be the main culprit.
“The fatty acid profile of the testes which is mostly unsaturated was also observed to be altered.
“Potash, because of its high sodium, also causes injury to the kidney and liver.’’
Erukainure advised that more studies should be conducted on the safety of potash consumption in females. (NAN)