There have been several claims to the therapeutic effect of Moringa oleifera Lam. (Moringaceae) on diabetic wister rats in the past. In this study, a group of Malian researchers led by Dr. Merlin Luke Willcox proved that Moringa Oleifera leaf powder lowers Type-2 diabetes. The authors posited that Moringa oleifera Lam. (Moringaceae) leaves are commonly used for diabetes treatment in Mali. Thus, necessitating the study.
The researchers recruited thirty-five (35) diabetic patients and thirty-five (35) non-diabetic healthy volunteers for this pilot clinical study aimed at evaluating the effect Moringa Oleifera leaf powder on post-prandial blood glucose in preparation for a larger trial.
The study participants were asked to fast for 13 hours on three occasions. Their blood glucose was measured before and after eating 100g of white bread (at 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180 minutes). On their second and third study visits, they were given 1g and 2g respectively of M. oleifera leaf powder, 30 minutes after eating the bread. Thereafter, the researchers calculated the mean paired reduction in blood glucose at each time interval and the incremental area under the curve.
The researchers observed that ingestion of Moringa Oleifera leaf powder had no effect on blood glucose in non-diabetic participants, but in diabetic patients, it lowered blood glucose at 90 minutes. There was a trend towards lower incremental area under the curve when diabetic patients took 2g of Moringa. No side-effects were reported by any participants.
The researchers therefore concluded that Moringa oleifera leaf powder reduced post-prandial glycaemia in diabetic patients. They however, recommended that a larger study is needed to define the optimal dose and to assess whether this translates into longer-term benefits.