Catfish pepper soup (Photo: Sisi Yemmie)
A practitioner at the Federal Medical Centre in Abuja has warned the general public of the life-threatening repercussions of excessive consumption of catfish.
A facebook user by the name, Shima Gyoh who according to his profile is a
I was alarmed when I read “Why eating catfish is very dangerous for your health’” credited to Dr. Arikawe Adeolu, published on the internet by tori.ng on 05 January 2017. The danger in catfish was alleged to be from its high content of omega-6 fatty acids apparently responsible for chronic inflammation that leads to cardiovascular diseases. The statement is not correct, and I can only suspect that there is a serious misunderstanding somewhere. The press statement further said,
“The underlying basis for most cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and many others is chronic inflammation.”
This is again wrong. Inflammation is the body’s attempt to stop or limit the damage being caused by other factors, it is not itself a causative factor. Whether acute or chronic, it is the body’s basic means of fighting attacks of infection and other noxious diseases like cancer; without it the body cannot survive. If there were no inflammation, every wound you have had since birth would remain unhealed. It is the battle order of immunity, and when depressed, the organism can succumb to infection from normally “harmless” organisms and multiple cancers. We see this in HIV/AIDS. All inflammations, acute or chronic, are always desirable protection of the body. There are drugs that can dampen inflammation, but that would enable the offending factor to now easily overcome the body unless you concurrently remove the offending cause as well. It would be a foolish country that withdraws its army under enemy attack on the basis of stopping the fury of the battle.
Omega-6 fatty acids which the article points out as the dangerous component of catfish are present in many other daily food items: fruits, nuts, whole grains, vegetables, vegetable oils, every meat you can think of, etc., no more in catfish than these. Apart from meat, many of these are often recommended for reducing cardiovascular diseases in diets. (please look up Mediterranean diet).
The article talked about excessive consumption of catfish. It did not mention how much nor did it give even one example of high mortality among people somewhere in the world caused by “excessive” catfish in their diet. Many people I have treated for stomach ulcer ate plenty of egusi stew, but it is patently false to conclude that egusi stew, therefore, causes stomach ulcers. Even correlation is never the same as cause.
If you like catfish, please carry on. You will de campe!