Moringa has a long history of use in traditional medicine around the world. The plant, native to South Asia, has multiple uses in Ayurveda, from relieving headaches and easing constipation to promoting weight loss and improving libido. Recent studies, in fact, have found that moringa can potentially lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar and treat other health issues.
In their report, the Chinese team explored the health benefits of MOs-2-a (1.35 x 104 Da). In particular, the team looked at whether the polysaccharide can improve gut health using a murine model. For a month, the mice were treated with MOs-2-a. During this time, the team measured the mice's body weight, immunity and gut health.
The findings revealed that mice treated with MOs-2-a had significantly better immunity than untreated mice. In addition, the mice had more of a gut bacteria strain known for its anti-obesity properties. According to the team, the moringa polysaccharide can improve the function of digestive enzymes to degrade starch, lipid and protein in food.
"The polysaccharide of M. oleifera leaf might be a promising prebiotic that exhibits health promotion effects," wrote the researchers.
Moringa is a plant known for its many health benefits. Despite being used in traditional medicine for thousands of years, scientists are still uncovering its many health benefits.
To note, a cup of freshly chopped moringa leaves contain the following nutrients:
Dried moringa leaves are sold as dietary supplements.
Moringa pods, on the other hand, contain fewer vitamins and minerals than the leaves, except for vitamin C. To note, one cup of freshly sliced pods is equivalent to 157 percent of the RDA.
Here are some science-backed benefits of moringa: (Related: The nutritional and medicinal uses of Moringa oleifera.)
Read more studies about moringa at FoodScience.news.