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No, Maggi stock cubes not dangerous or the ‘primary cause of stroke in Africa’

A Facebook post published in Nigeria in November 2019 claims that eating Maggi stock cubes every day “is akin to increasing cardiovascular risks including hypertension, diabetes and ... especially stroke”.

“Sneakily and unmistakably, the Maggi cube is the primary cause of stroke in Africa,” it adds.

Maggi cubes, used for seasoning food, were invented in 1886 by the Swiss entrepreneur Julius Maggi. The brand is well known in Nigeria.

But are they dangerous, and the main cause of stroke in Africa?

What causes a stroke?

There are different kinds of stroke, but they all interrupt the blood flow to a part of the brain.

And anyone is at risk of a stroke, according to South Africa’s Heart and Stroke Foundation.

“Most strokes don’t not have a single cause, but rather many factors [that] together increase the chance of heart disease which eventually results in a stroke,” the foundation says. “These factors that do not directly result in a stroke but contribute to its development are called risk factors.

The most common uncontrollable risk factors are age, sex, your genetic makeup, your family history and poverty. Controllable risk factors include smoking, drinking alcohol, a poor diet, lack of exercise and stress.

High blood pressure and atrial fibrillation – an abnormal heart rhythm – “can also drastically increase the risk for a stroke”, the foundation says.

The is no “primary cause” of strokes, so a seasoning cube can’t be “the primary cause of stroke in Africa”.

No known scientific experiment shows Maggi cube is dangerous

“Maggi is a seasoning cube that contains sodium gluconate,” Emmanuel Maduagwu, a professor of biochemistry at the College of Science and Technology at Nigeria’s Covenant University, told Africa Check. “Only a scientist who has carried out a proper experiment on this product that can make such claims.”

Maduagwu explained that if an animal was fed the sodium gluconate in a Maggi cube, but it could be shown that it was broken down by the body, and wasn’t clogging the blood vessels, then “we can say the product is not harmful – not causing hypertension, diabetes and stroke”. 

But unless you’ve conducted such an experiment, “you cannot say Maggi is harmful to the body”, he said.

We could find no evidence of any scientific experiments on the Maggi stock cube. 

According to Nestle, the international food company that owns the Maggi brand: “Maggi cubes are made from carefully selected ingredients, which have been approved by regulatory authorities.

“They are safe and pose no danger to the health of consumers.” – Jennifer Ojugbeli


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