A Researcher, Prof. Polycarp Okafor, has cautioned against excessive consumption of fruit juices and ice cream during the yuletide, especially by children under five years.

Okafor, a Professor of Biochemical Toxicology at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Saturday.

He said some of those products have high concentration of toxicants which are dangerous to health.

Quoting the World Health Organisation (WHO), Okafor said children under five years of age carry 40 per cent of food-borne disease burden with 125,000 deaths every year.

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He added that till date, it was doubtful if there was a hospital in Nigeria that could diagnose and treat diseases such as Blue Baby Syndrome or Methemogloninaemia.

He noted that “such diseases are associated with ingestion of high levels of nitrite, which are found in such products.”

Okafor, who said he had spent some years doing research on fruit drinks and animal feeds, noted that most of these products consumed by man and animals could be compromised.

He said “they are leading causes of low life expectancy in the country.” (NAN)