During ovulation, most women release one egg and twins are possible if the egg splits into two after fertilization or if two separate eggs get fertilized. Some studies have shown that eating cassava, a plant with a tuber root, may help a woman release more than an egg during ovulation, leading to more babies. However, the twins may not be identical but fraternal as two eggs get fertilized. The diet of the Yoruba people is also rich in cassava, and research into their multiple births carried out at the University Teaching Hospital in Lagos has suggested that a high level of a chemical found in the Yoruba women and the peelings of the tuber could account for the high level of multiple births.
“These substances are usually linked to the release of more than one egg, which usually leads to twin pregnancies. That means that there is possibly an environmental factor that encourages the high level of this chemical substance,” a consultant gynaecologist at the hospital explained.