Department of Radiation Biology, Environmental Radiation Research Group, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon, Korea & University of Windsor, Canada
Various types of plants have been used for several centuries worldwide not only as dietary supplements but also as traditional treatments for many diseases, including potential antitumor, antioxidant, antiobesity, and antimicrobial molecules.
Among these plants, Moringa oleifera - known as the 'Tree of Life' - has been regarded in India's traditional Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for over 300 diseases.
Since it is a significant source of fats, proteins, beta-carotene, vitamin C, iron, potassium, and other nutrients, the Moringa tree is highly nutritious.
For these reasons, some parts of this plant have drawn much attention and have been studied for its various biological activities, including antiatherosclerotic, immune-boosting, anticardiovascular diseases, antiviral, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory properties and tumor-suppressive effects in skin.
Due to the increasing attention on natural products, such as those from plants, and the advantages of oral administration of anticancer drugs, soluble extracts from the moringa leaf have been prepared and their potential as new anti cancer drug candidates have been assessed in various studies.
In a 2014 study by the Department of Radiation Biology at the Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute & the University of Windsor, Canada, a cold water-soluble Moringa leaf extract was prepared and investigated for the possibility as an anticancer drug in different types of human cancer cell lines.
The soluble extract from the Moringa leaves
greatly induced apoptosis, inhibited tumor cell growth, and lowered the level of internal reactive oxygen species (ROS) in human lung cancer cells as well as other several types of cancer cells, suggesting that the treatment of cancer cells with Moringa significantly reduced cancer cell proliferation and invasion.
Additionally, the Moringa leaf extract showed greater cytotoxicity for tumor cells than for normal cells, strongly suggesting that it could potentially be an ideal anticancer therapeutic candidate specific to cancer cells.
These results suggest the potential therapeutic implications of the soluble extract from the Moringa leaf in the treatment of various types of cancers.
For the full transcript of this study go here.
More Moringa Research
Ongoing research is being conducted into the effects of moringa on asthma, diabetes, urinary tract infection, anti aging, arthritis and breast milk supply.