A professor of Gastrointestinal Physiology and Inflammation, Professor S. B. Olaleye, has warned against what he described as assaulting the gastrointestinal tract with chemicals consumed ignorantly or deliberately. He explained that therapeutic drugs taken without a physician’s advice may be dangerous to the well-being of the gastrointestinal system.
Professor Olaleye gave the advice in his Inaugural Lecture entitled, “Winds Against the Hollow: Lessons From the Sentinel”, delivered on behalf of the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State.
He disclosed that he had carried out extensive research on the gastrointestinal tract and discovered that though the gut has an inbuilt defence system, a compromise on the gatekeeping function might result in it being overwhelmed.
The Professor said he had carried out research activities concerned with the identification of physiological, dietary, and environmental factors that control normal and abnormal gastrointestinal states. He submitted that aggressive factors, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, reactive oxygen species, alcohol, bile salts, acid and pepsin, can alter the mucosa defense by allowing the back diffusion of hydrogen ions and subsequent epithelial cell injury.