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. 2012 Mar 1;3:24.
doi: 10.3389/fphar.2012.00024. eCollection 2012.

Therapeutic Potential of Moringa Oleifera Leaves in Chronic Hyperglycemia and Dyslipidemia: A Review

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Free PMC article

Therapeutic Potential of Moringa Oleifera Leaves in Chronic Hyperglycemia and Dyslipidemia: A Review

Majambu Mbikay. Front Pharmacol. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Moringa oleifera (M. oleifera) is an angiosperm plant, native of the Indian subcontinent, where its various parts have been utilized throughout history as food and medicine. It is now cultivated in all tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. The nutritional, prophylactic, and therapeutic virtues of this plant are being extolled on the Internet. Dietary consumption of its part is therein promoted as a strategy of personal health preservation and self-medication in various diseases. The enthusiasm for the health benefits of M. oleifera is in dire contrast with the scarcity of strong experimental and clinical evidence supporting them. Fortunately, the chasm is slowly being filled. In this article, I review current scientific data on the corrective potential of M. oleifera leaves in chronic hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia, as symptoms of diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Reported studies in experimental animals and humans, although limited in number and variable in design, seem concordant in their support for this potential. However, before M. oleifera leaf formulations can be recommended as medication in the prevention or treatment of diabetes and CVD, it is necessary that the scientific basis of their efficacy, the therapeutic modalities of their administration and their possible side effects be more rigorously determined.

Keywords: Moringa oleifera; cardiovascular disease; diabetes; natural products; phytotherapy.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Chronological trend of scientific publications on M. oleifera. The bibliographic search was conducted online in the PubMed database at www.pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.org/, using moringa, drumstick, or malunggay as title keywords. Article abstracts were reviewed for content and those unrelated to M. oleifera were discarded. Of the 163 PubMed articles retained, 64 (39.3%) were about the physiological effects of M. oleifera preparation in experimental animals, 30 (18.4%) on their water-cleansing properties as toxic metal absorbent or flocculent, 23 (14.1%) about their chemical composition, 22 (13.5%) about their antimicrobial efficacy, 5 (3.1%) about their antioxidant properties in vitro, 5 (3.1%) about their effects on cellular physiology ex vivo, 6 (3.1%) on their nutritional values, 3 (1.8%) about their therapeutic effects in humans, and 6 about various matters (review, genetics, biofuel, animal feed).
Figure 2
Figure 2
Structural motifs and backbones of major phytochemicals found M. oleifera leaves. (A) Glucosinolates and their metabolites. (B) Flavonol major derivatives. (C) Phenolic acids. Their known derivatives or metabolites are indicated.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Some bioactive phytochemicals found M. oleifera leaves. Their structures were obtained from the online in the PubChem database at www.pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.org/.

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