If there is one man who is harnessing nature’s bounty for the relentless pursuit of effective solutions against diabetes and obesity, it is Mr Henry Ogbonna.

His innovative research on the therapeutic potential of medicinal plants offers great insights into the fight against these prevalent health issues.

Henry Ogbonna holds a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture (MOUAU) and a Master of Science in Molecular Biotechnology from the University of Bath, United Kingdom.

His interest in drug development research was sparked during his time as a research intern at the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Nigeria, where he focused on drug analysis and pharmaceutical chemistry.

Upon returning to the Biochemistry lab at MOUAU, Ogbonna embarked on medicinal plant research, focusing on their potential to manage obesity and diabetes-related complications.

His research has earned him numerous awards, including the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship and the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship for graduate studies and research.

Ogbonna’s notable contributions include his investigation into the therapeutic effects of unripe Carica papaya, commonly known as paw-paw, on diabetic rats.

According to him, his study revealed promising results on lipid profile and liver biomarkers, suggesting the potential of Carica papaya in managing diabetes mellitus and its complications.

Building on this success, Ogbonna explored the benefits of Mucuna pruriens leaves, demonstrating significant reductions in blood glucose levels and improvements in liver biomarkers and lipid profiles in diabetic rats treated with its extract.

What sets Ogbonna’s work apart is not only its regional significance but also its global impact. By showcasing the efficacy of medicinal plants in combating diabetes, his research contributes to the growing body of evidence supporting natural remedies in disease management.

The potential of incorporating these remedies into mainstream healthcare offers a holistic approach to diabetes and obesity management, emphasizing the importance of integrating traditional knowledge into modern scientific frameworks.

Ogbonna’s research trajectory has expanded beyond medicinal plants to encompass the connection between diabetes, obesity, and renal cancer. As a Ph.D. student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, he focuses on understanding antitumor resistance in the context of immunotherapy, utilizing pre-clinical and clinical model systems to reveal the mechanisms by which host obesity induces resistance to therapies in renal cancer.

@ Nigerian Tribune

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