l’ve been reading up a bit about yams, fertility and twins recently and l must say it has been quite interesting. This is a topic close to my heart because like l mentioned in previous posts, twins run in my family especially on my mother’s side so when l first came upon this theory, l was naturally intrigued.
According to Wikipedia, the Yoruba tribe has the highest twinning rate in the world, at 45-50 twin sets (or 90-100 twins) per live births. This is four times higher than the rest of the world and could possibly be attributed to high consumption of a specific type of yam containing a natural phytoestrogen which may stimulate the ovaries to release an egg from EACH side. A BBC report went further to narrow down a town in Oyo State in South West Nigeria-lgbo Ora-as the town that came up top of the twins league table. It was discovered that there were 3 sets of twins born in every 19 births! The indigenes attributed this to their love of yams. A research study carried out at Lagos University Teaching Hospital suggested “high level of chemicals found in yoruba women with multiple births are linked to their high consumption of yams.These chemicals possibly cause the release of more than one egg which usually lead to twin pregnancies”.
Coincidence? I think not. My mum’s people have an affinity for yams as well. In fact, l grew up knowing how to wield a pestle and l can still pound up a mean ‘iyan’ meal the traditional way although knowing my neighbours here, l might find myself having a word or two with The Old Bill about keeping the noise down! Anyway, l will be researching more on this topic and will update you all with my findings. Meanwhile, l’ll be heading off to the African market come Saturday to get me some fresh tubers!
Thanks for reading and have a pleasant week ahead.