It is called the tree of life or even the miraculous tree. In fact, the moringa is a powerful natural remedy, it protects and supports the health of the body since it is a plant with anti-aging, anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory properties and, from today, also with an anti-diabetic action. In fact, a very recent review has shown how moringa leaves can act by reducing blood sugar in case of type 2 diabetes. The review is available online in the journal Molecules thanks to the work of a Japanese team (Watanabe et al, Molecules, 2021).
Diabetes, a growing problem
In 2019, 463 million people between the ages of 20 and 79 were diagnosed with diabetes globally. This number, however, is expected to grow and become 700 million in 2045. Among all cases of diabetes, 90% refers to type 2 diabetes, the diabetes typical of adulthood, characterized by high levels of blood sugar, insulin resistance and a lack of insulin produced by the pancreas. Not only that, type 2 diabetes is also associated with other problems, such as high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.
Natural remedies and diabetes
Therefore, given the high incidence of the phenomenon, there is a lot of interest in research aimed at understanding any anti-diabetic properties of plants, with fewer side effects than many drugs used. Among all the natural remedies that could help to combat hyperglycemia, a very particular plant is emerging, moringa oleifera.
The properties of moringa
Moringa, also called the tree of life, is a precious source of antioxidants that give it anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, anticancer and hepatoprotective properties. Moringa is also capable of controlling blood sugar and cholesterol. However, no clarity has yet been made on the antidiabetic properties of moringa in case of an existing diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. For this reason, the scientists carried out research to evaluate previous studies, procedures and results in order to understand the action of moringa in case of high blood sugar and cholesterol.
How moringa fights diabetes
What emerged from this analysis is that moringa, especially for what concerns the use of its leaves, has an anti-diabetic action capable of reducing blood sugar. Not only that, total cholesterol and triglycerides are also reduced following the daily intake of moringa leaves. Japanese researchers have also been able to understand the mechanism by which moringa works. In particular, the antioxidants of moringa quercetin and kaempferol act by inhibiting alpha amylase and thus reducing blood sugar. Alpha amylase is in fact an enzyme responsible for digesting starch, which is broken down into glucose. Not only that, other substances contained in moringa, such as gallic and caffeic acid, show a hypoglycemic action since they act by inhibiting the alpha amylase enzymes, which we have just talked about, and alpha glucosidase, which instead is another enzyme responsible for breaking down maltose into glucose. Finally, chlorogenic acid but also quercetin and kaempferol in moringa reduce the absorption of glucose in the intestinal tract.
Moringa and cholesterol
As for the lipids circulating in the blood, moringa, thanks to its antioxidant action, avoids the oxidation of these substances and also inhibits the synthesis of cholesterol, helping to normalize the lipid profile.