Posted on Jun 04, 2020, 11 a.m.
Moringa trees are native to India but are also grown in parts of Africa, South America, and Asia. Various parts of the tree have been used in food as well as in medicines since ancient times, and today it is still used as a natural remedy for inflammation, rheumatism and diabetes in many Asian countries. It has even become a rather popular cooking and baking ingredient as well as a health supplement.
Studies suggest that moringa extract carries many beneficial properties such as being anti-fungal, antiviral, antidepressant and anti-inflammatory, taken together with the nutritional profile value it is impressive and may be why it has earned the nickname of the miracle tree.
Clouding of the eye’s natural lens is known as cataract, and this condition is one of the most common causes of visual impairment in American. Over 40% of non-Hispanic white, African American and Hispanics with impaired vision will develop cataracts, according to data from the University of Illinois, and W.H.O considers cataracts to be the second leading cause of visual impairment on a global scale.
There are several risk factors that are linked to the development of cataracts such as aging, diabetes, hypertension, and excessive exposure to sunlight among others. Recent studies suggest that oxidative stress resulting from the imbalance between antioxidants and reactive oxygen species is the main cause of cellular damage in the eyes that leads to cataract formation, as such the protective role of antioxidants are being explored against eye diseases.
A recent study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine investigated the ability of Moringa oleifera (also known as horseradish tree, drumstick tree, or just moringa) to prevent cataracts using an extract derived from its stem(MOSE) to evaluate the protective effect on cultured mouse eye lenses exposed to oxidative stress.
Moringa oleifera has been widely studied because of its high levels of potent antioxidant compounds. In this study to investigate if it can prevent the formation of cataracts, cultured mouse lenses were pretreated with 0.5 and 1 mg/mL MOSE for 24 hours, then the lenses were exposed to 1 millimolar of hydrogen peroxide for another 24 hours.
After 48 hours lens opacification, reactive oxygen species production, glutathione content, and the activities of SOD and CAT were measured by the researchers who also measured for the expression of PPARa, which is a nuclear receptor that helps to protect against vision threatening eye diseases in humans.
According to the researchers MOSE concentration of 1 mg/mL was found to have alleviated lens opacification, reduced ROS generation and increased GSH content in the cultured lenses; as well as increased SOD and CAT activities and up-regulated the expression of SOD, CAT and PPARa. Based on their findings the researchers concluded that moringa extracts can help to alleviate oxidative stress induced cataract formation by enhancing the endogenous antioxidant system in the eyes.
Moringa is associated with numerous other benefits including: protecting and nourishing skin/hair, prevent/treat edema, protecting from liver damage, protecting from the development of certain cancers, treating stomach disorders, preventing gastrointestinal infections, improving digestion, promoting strong bones, protecting against cardiac damage, accelerating wound healing, reducing scars, lowering blood sugar levels, reducing the severity of asthma attacks, preventing kidney stones, helping to reduce blood pressure, improving iron absorption, and assisting in weight loss.
Moringa has been around since ancient times, and it is reported to have very few side effects. That being said it can interfere with certain medications, as such for your safety it is recommended to consult with your physician or trusted certified medical professional before taking moringa to avoid any possibility of complication(s).
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