Myth Or Fact: Drinking Pap Water Helps With Infertility In Women


Infertility can be a source of worry. It is common to find several postulations as regards its causes, as well as many submissions on the cure.


While infertility can be caused by a deficiency of certain essential minerals and nutrients, some meals may contribute to tackling infertility. 


One of them is pap water. This article focuses on pap water, its benefits, and safety whilst discovering if the claim is a myth or fact.



Pap and its benefits in fertility

Pap, popularly known as Ogi by the Westerners, Akamu by Easterners and Koko by the Northerners, is a typical Nigerian meal obtained from blended fermented maize or millet.


 It is a household meal for various purposes, especially for lactating and nursing mothers. It is the best meal option for babies because it contains the proper nutrients for their growth and development.


Pap is an excellent source of potassium, which is great for people with high blood pressure and relieves discomfort in the blood vessel walls. It is known for its efficacy in boosting fertility levels.


Pap is high in folic acid, one of the main components pregnant women need to carry a successful pregnancy. 


Folate deficiency can disrupt the pregnancy cycle, and it causes defects in newborn babies. Women are advised to start ingesting Vitamin B9 when they start trying to conceive, solely because it aids conception.


What is pap water?

Pap water, also known as Omi Ogi or Omidun by the Yorubas and Mmiri Akamu by the Igbos, refers to the water filtered off from fermented corn after 2-3 days of sedimentation of the pap. 


When people prepare pap, the water sieved out, which is already fermented from soaking for a few days, is usually discarded.


This fermented water is believed to contain healthy bacteria, otherwise known as probiotics, that make it medicinal. An alternative use is to dissolve raw pap in a watery consistency. 



Are there any benefits of drinking pap water?

The fermentation process of pap preparation absorbs nutrients beneficial to health. From some research carried out on some individuals who took pap water, some benefits have been attached to its consumption:


  • Rich in nutrients: A study in 2018 on the nutritional composition of pap revealed that it is rich in essential properties. It is a good source of vitamin B, carbohydrates, potassium, iron, phosphorus and many other nutrients essential to health.
  •  Prevention of anaemia:  Iron deficiency can result in anaemia. Iron in meals aids in synthesising the blood cells, thereby preventing anaemia.
  • Regulates bowel movement: Corn contains dietary fibre, offering many advantages, like regulating bowel movements and managing blood sugar levels. Pap water consists of antioxidants that help to fight and prevent intestinal problems.
  • Aids in the prevention of colon cancer: The fermentation process improves the level of antioxidant content, efficiently inhibiting the free radicals that cause cancer. Also, the presence of flavonoids and vitamin E in it serves that benefit, too.
  • Aids vision: Pap water contains carotenoids, Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants beneficial to improving poor sight. 
  • Increases fertility in both males and females: Traditionally, it is believed that drinking pap water enhances sperm count in men and promotes ovulation in women.


Side effects of drinking pap water

As much as pap water seems to be loaded with so many health benefits, its consumption also has possible side effects. 


Drinking fermented pap water may pose a threat of intestinal irritation, diarrhoea or other health hazard, which can spring from contaminated water or an already existing underlying health challenge. 


Myth or fact: Does pap water help fertility?

The fermented water extract from soaked ground corn is nutritious and has a lot of use locally. It is said to have the efficacy of boosting fertility because of the presence of folate, a vitamin that should be necessarily taken before and after conception. 


However, whether this is a myth or a fact it is yet to be discovered.


 It is pertinent to ensure that before consuming any meal that varies from the actual meal course, it is best to seek the counsel of your medical doctor. Do not replace the modern treatment with the traditional method, wildly when unfounded.


Sticking to the pap pudding except as your medical personnel or nutritionist recommends is best. Speak to your doctor for other alternatives if need be.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I take pap water during pregnancy?

Irrespective of its many nutritional benefits, it is best to check with your doctor.


Does drinking pap water boost fertility in women?

Due to the folate content, pap water may boost fertility. However, adequate evidence is lacking to support such a claim. 


What other alternatives increase my chances of conception?

Ingesting multivitamins, folic acid, and vitamin B may help increase your chances of conception. Also, consume foods rich in essential minerals and vitamins like citrus fruits and whole grains.

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