Diet for diabetes: Consume more moringa!
(Natural News) Moringa oleifera (commonly known as moringa) is widely known for its numerous health benefits. In fact, a lot of studies have associated the consumption of moringa to the treatment of various health conditions, including diabetes. In a study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it has been found that consuming moringa leaf powder could be beneficial for diabetics.
The study, carried out by a team of researchers at the University of Guadalajara in Mexico, looked at the effects of moringa leaf powder on glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol, corporal weight, and predominant groups of microbiota in alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice. The research team particularly evaluated moringa leaf powder as most data on the benefits of moringa come from its leaves. (Related: Moringa oleifera can help treat diabetes, study finds.)
The research team divided mice into five groups: one control group, one healthy group treated with moringa, one untreated diabetic group, one diabetic group treated with moringa, and one diabetic group treated with glibenclamide. Moringa treatment groups received a 50-milligram (mg) dose of moringa leaf powder once a day for eight weeks, while the glibenclamide group received a 600 micrograms per kilogram (μg/kg) dose. The team measured the glucose level and body weight of the mice once every week, while they evaluated the cholesterol and triglyceride levels of the mice at the end of the study.
Based on the results of the study, the mice groups that received the moringa leaf powder supplementation experienced reductions of glucose levels and enterobacteria population. In addition, the supplement provided these benefits without causing any side effect.
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Thus, the researchers concluded that adding moringa, especially its leaves, to the diet could help diabetics lower their glucose levels and keep their gut microbiota healthy. The findings of this study can contribute to the increasing number of data on the use of moringa as a natural medicine.
“Further research will be needed to evaluate the mechanisms of action over lipids and intestinal microbiota in diabetes mellitus to increase possible uses of M. oleifera in functional foods as a nutraceutical,” wrote the researchers.
Other health benefits of moringa
Also referred to as the drumstick or miracle tree, moringa is a highly cultivable crop grown in tropical areas of Asia, Africa, and South America. As mentioned earlier, moringa is widely consumed for its health benefits – thanks to its nutrient content. The plant is rich in vitamin A, calcium, iron, potassium, and fiber. Moreover, every part of the moringa plant (the roots, seeds, flowers, and leaves) have varying levels of healthy fats and disease-fighting flavonoids. Here are some science-backed benefits of Moringa:
- Moringa may help treat Alzheimer’s disease – Moringa is known to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. In a review published in the Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice, it was discovered that the anti-inflammatory and hypotensive effects of M. oleifera could boost memory. Moreover, mice who received moringa extract caused improvements in their electrical activity and levels of brain monoamines (norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin).
- Moringa contains powerful antioxidants – The oil or extract of the moringa plant obtained from its leaves and fruit contains powerful antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and vitamin C. Antioxidants are beneficial because they fight free radicals in the body that damage healthy cells. If healthy cells are continuously damaged, it will eventually contribute to health conditions such as heart disease, memory loss, and cancer. Thus, moringa can help reduce the risk of these illnesses.
- Moringa affects cholesterol levels – Moringa can help manage cholesterol levels, according to a 2012 review of studies on moringa and its cholesterol-lowering effect.
Read more news stories and studies on other natural treatments for diabetes by going to DiabetesScienceNews.com.