Nigeria Households and Restaurants, Now Cooking meat with paracetamol tablet

Considered an effective pain reliever, paracetamol is widely used in Nigeria and elsewhere, it’s the number option for the cure of headaches and easily the most commonly used drug in the country, if not globally.

For many households and restaurants, using paracetamol is the fastest way to prepare meat. It saves gas, kerosene or firewood.

And costs much less, N50 for one sachet of 12 tablets, and each tablet can cause a pot-full of meat to cook soft within a few minutes.

“It’s a lot faster to boil meat with paracetamol,” a young mother, Adeola told this writer upon inquiry. “I have used it to cook cow leg on a number of occasions. If you add one tablet, the meat will melt and become soft in just ten minutes.”

It’s an amazing discovery, or so it seems. But what they don’t know is that as much as they are quickening the amount of time it takes to cook, they are also quickening their days on earth.

Paracetamol, ordinarily, is a killer, when consumed regularly to cure a headache or take care of pains, but when cooked in a pot, it’s a certain leads to kidney or liver failure.

Medical experts say when paracetamol is used in cooking, it loses the pain killer property and becomes highly acidic and dangerous for human consumption.

When the process occurs, paracetamol is hydrolyzed into what is called 4-aminophenol, which, experts say, is extremely toxic to the kidney and liver.

Last week, a facebook user raised alarm about the prevailing use paracetamol to cook goat meat ‘pepper soup’ in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and other surrounding areas.

Investigations revealed that restaurant owners opt for paracetamol because it helps them save costs and reduce the waiting time for customers.

Recently, there has been a hike in the number of young Nigerian men coming down with kidney failure, most of which result in death on account of poor medical care.

Apparently part of the reason for that, is the consumption of paracetamol/panadol ‘pepper soup’ or meat it is used to prepare generally.

In its 2016 report, the Nigeria Medical Journal noted that Chronic kidney disease (CKD) has so prevalent in the country that it has “become a public health problem in Nigeria.”

In March last year, the Nigerian Association of Nephrology (NAN) said a whooping 25 million Nigerians, representing over 13 percent of the country’s estimated 180million people had kidney failures.

But paracetamol or panadol is not dangerous only when cooked in a pot. Regular intake or a slight overdose can be equally deadly.

The maximum 24-hour dose of paracetamol is 4g but as little as 5g, experts say, can cause liver complications.

It can be easy to overdose accidentally by taking more than one product containing it at the same time.

“Continuous use of Paracetamol can cause potentially fatal liver damage. Things get much worse when combined with alcoholic drinks, like origin bitters and in chronic alcoholics or patients with liver damage,” noted medical consultant, Dr Maria Alice.

Let us be mindful of what    we consume and take less of paracetamol because Regular intake causes harm most of which result in death.

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