Title : Bioactive constituents of Moringa oleifera leaves and prevention of degenerative chronic diseases
There is more and more scientific evidence which supports a positive relationship between a diet based on plant foods and the prevention of certain degenerative chronic diseases such as obesity, coronary disease, arterial hypertension, diabetes, cancer and others. Moringa oleifera, a mycorrhizal plant from the family of Moringacea is grown in many Asian and African countries, including Uganda. Moringa oleifera plant has been extensively studied and found to have important health-promoting properties, attributed to numerous bioactive constituents including vitamins, polyphenols, alkaloids, glucosinolates, isothiocyonates, tannins and saponins which are present in various parts of the plant. The bioactive constituents in Moringa oleifera leaves have been researched for their role in prevention of obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes and cancer. Chlorogenic acid in Moringa oleifera leaves has anti-obesity property probably by inhibiting dietary lipid absorption. The alkaloids in the leaves have cardio protection activity through free radical scavenging property. The bioactive compounds in the leaves including nitrile, mustard oil glycosides and thiocarbamate glycosides have been used for stabilizing pressure possibly through calcium antagonist effect. The quercetin in Moringa oleifera leaves is a strong antioxidant. It has anti-diabetic property by correcting pancreatic beta-cell dysfunction and insulin resistance thereby increasing insulin secretion. Isothiocyanates in the leaves is anticancerous by inhibition of the growth of several human cancer cells. Therefore there is valid pharmacological basis for consuming Moringa oleifera leaves for those purposes. Moringa oleifera leaves should not be used only when looking for a cure when disease appears. Rather, it should also be used to prevent diseases.
Mr. Opiro has BSc, MSc., Diploma in Homeopathy, and Diploma in Herbal Medicine. He is a graduate of Blackford Centre for Herbal Medicine in UK. He is the Director of Homeopathy and Herbal Centre whose mission is helping people live longer, healthier lives through training, research and healing. And whose value is commitment to integrity and professionalism. He has been a part-time Lecturer at Makerere University. He has done extensive research on Moringa oleifera and other natural products in a number of countries including Botswana, Thailand, Iran and Japan. He has published over twenty research papers in reputed international journals.