Studies on the relation between Moringa and Cancer

REDMORINGA 2.0 - Proprietà mediche per la cura del cancro

Moringa Oleifera and Cancer – Promising study of the University of Alabama

Moringa and the fight against cancer – because it helps to prevent the cancer

The properties of the Moringa plant in the medical and pharmacological fields are already well known; in fact, active principles are extracted from it for the treatment of various diseases such as diabetes, some skin diseases, hypertension and various respiratory problems. However, the reason why the spotlight was lit on this special plant, placing it at the center of the interest of the scientific community, is the discovery of the presence of antitumor substances in it, particularly active in the prevention and treatment of this disease. It can, rightly, be defined a ‘prodigious’ plant as it contains an incredible concentration of substances beneficial to health and whose continuous use can represent a formidable panacea for maintaining optimal conditions of many of our body’s functions. The Moringa, in fact, is a natural supplement that can easily enrich every diet thanks to the presence of 9 essential amino acids, 27 vitamins, almost 50 different antioxidants and many mineral salts. What makes the Moringa even more important and scientifically relevant, however, is the fact that some studies are focusing on its anticancer properties due to the presence of high concentrations of isothiocyanates and glucosinolates metabolites. This would make this plant fundamental not only for prevention but above all for the treatment of cancer in association with other treatments.

Absorption capacity of Moringa free radicals

Let’s see in details the reasons why Moringa is considered a sort of ‘superfood’; in fact, it is enough to read some values ​​to understand how a constant intake of Moringa through the diet can prevent most of our illnesses. First of all it contains the following vitamins: A, group B, C, D, E, K in extremely high concentrations when compared to those of other foods (for example 7 times the vitamin C in oranges). According to the ORAC (Oxygen Radicals Absorbance Capacity) test, which measures the capacity of “absorption of free radicals produced by oxygen for each single food”, the Moringa presents 157,600 points per 100 grams of product, which gives her a place between the more antioxidant foods known until now, especially when compared to some commonly used foods such as, for example, avocado (570 units), cabbages (1400 units), tomatoes (140 units) or kiwis (460 units). In this regard, in fact, it is good to know that for a healthy diet it would be necessary to take about 5000 ORAC units per day and thanks to the presence of all these precious elements, the Moringa therefore proves to be very important in the case of nutrition poor of fundamental substances for the organism. The presence of benzyl isocyanate makes it very suitable as an adjuvant in chemotherapeutic treatmentsas it increases the resistance of healthy cells that are subjected to such invasive treatments; in addition, the high concentration of various substances such as minerals (including potassium and magnesium), proteins, calcium, iron and vitamins, which we have already discussed, contribute making the body stronger in facing various challenges, including the fight against the tumor with all its consequences and the side effects that may occur during therapy.

Moringa – A study conducted by the University of Alabama shows that Moringa contains anti-cancer agents

Of particular interest in the anti-cancer properties of Moringais the study conducted and published by Shama Ahmad of the University of Alabama in Birmingham and disseminated by the Plos One website, which deals with the dissemination of scientific research online. Here you will find the full publication in English. To verify Moringa’s possible interaction on the proliferation of tumor cells, some parts of the plant have been taken into consideration: leaves, seeds and bark coming from specimens brought, in this case, from Saudi Arabia where the Moringa is normally cultivated. Specifically, the study was carried out on breast and colon cancer in the population living in Saudi Arabia which, in recent years, has seen exponentially proliferate the incidence of this disease, especially in young women (breast cancer). The colon cancer, however, is, according to recent statistics, the most dangerous in the world with a high percentage of deaths. Tumor cells have proliferate much faster than normal ones, spreading to other parts of the body, different from those where the tumor originated, looking for nourishment and a substrate favorable to their further growth (the so-called secondary tumor ). One of the main objectives of scientists is therefore to find treatments that can kill cancer cells with the least impact on the human organism and its health. In the present case, Moringa was used to analyze the effects on the possible phenotypic mutation, on the survival and on the biological cycle of the tumor cells. The use of natural products deriving from plants is not a new practice in the production of anticancer medicines, as many commonly used substances have shown a high effectiveness in the fight against carcinomas, significantly reducing the risks deriving from possible side effects. This is the case, for example of lycopene and curcumin, the first present in tomatoes and its derivatives, the second extracted from turmeric. Both are now universally recognized substances for their powerful antioxidant properties, in the treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular system and as inhibitors of tumor cell reproduction processes. The study conducted by the University of Alabama, is aimed at assessing the antitumor potential of the Moringa on breast and colon cancer and is a novelty because such research had never been conducted previously on Moringa, testing it directly on sick cells. During the experimentation in particular, the extracts from Moringa’s leaves and bark were analyzed in depth, since, from the analysis of the obtained data, it seems that the seeds have no role in this antitumor function.

How the Moringa studies were conducted

The Moringa parts used for research purposes have all been collected in the city of Tabuk, in Saudi Arabia where this plant is grown in abundance and does not represent an endangered species, an important detail that makes it suitable for use in the laboratory. The analyzes were conducted at the Prince Sultan Military Medical in the city of Riyadh, on leaves, bark and seeds samples that were first dried and then minced separately. The extraction of the essential components, carried out in an aseptic environment, took place in ethanol, and subsequently they were filtered and evaporated to eliminate the remaining solvent and thus obtain a compact mass. This passage is fundamental for identification of the substances present in the plant, one of the main objectives of the study. Analysis conducted with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (CG-MS) have effectively found many anti-tumor components in the cortex and leaves, while they are almost totally absent in seeds. These substances, especially the phenolic compound called eugenol, inhibit the proliferation of diseased cells by acting on their transmission signal. Other scientific research has attributed to euganol anticancer effects against some particular diseases such as melanoma, leukemia, gastric carcinoma, skin and prostate tumors. Moreover, another compound present predominantly in the Moringa leaves (d-allosea very rare monosaccharide) causes the stop of the cells cycle at its initial stage only in tumor and not in normal cells, as palmitic acid, present in all parts of the plant does. The analyzes carried out have shown the actual presence of bioactive natural compounds with high antitumor powers, as proven also by previous studies not carried out on the Moringa plant. The discovery of these experiments was the actual finding of a reduced survival of the diseased cells if subjected to the extracts of the leaves and the stems, as these inhibit the activity of a particular protein responsible for the functionality and proliferation of the diseased cells; in addition to this, the studies have also shown their reduced mobility with regard to the tumors of the breast and that of the colon, which were object of the primary study.

Conclusions of the Moringa antitumor properties study

Ultimately, the results obtained by the researchers of the University of Alabama, agree with other researches carried out on the Moringa leaves and bark properties, according to which the substances contained in them act as anti-tumor both on the mobility of cells that on the formation of new proliferation colonies for the studied diseases, namely breast and colon cancer. Naturally this opens the way for further research and analysis, especially for a more detailed analysis of the Moringa’s molecular composition and the complex mechanisms that interfere with the spread of the tumor. It seems clear that the therapeutic use of this plant is a valuable tool to support the classic therapies for the treatment of carcinomas subject of these studies, even if they occur in an aggressive form. In the field of research, giant steps are being made in the identification of substances capable of effectively combating the development and proliferation of tumors; of course, this should never be to the detriment of the general health of the sick patient, with the exclusive use of invasive and destabilizing therapies for the entire body. It is precisely in this direction that the efforts of the scientific community are now concentrated. From our part, we know that a healthy lifestyle combined with good and healthy nutrition can help to decisively combat the onset of many diseases, including cancer. This awareness, which was not known a few years ago, must make us much more responsible for our health and obliges us to change our daily life habits. The possibility to acquire information thanks to the greater circulation of the same is of big help and this very often can facilitate us in finding the solution to many problems. In this case, for example, we have discovered, albeit very late compared to populations that have long used it, the extraordinary properties of this plant, Moringa, which should rightfully be part of our daily diet as a regular natural supplement.

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