Author(s): Edith N. Fombang, Romuald Willy Saa
Maintenance of glycemic control is important in preventing diabetes and its associated complications. Considering the current recommended approach for the use of functional foods and their bioactive components in the prevention and management of diabetes, the aim of this study was to determine the antihyperglycemic effect of Moringa oleifera functional tea in rat models and in normoglycemic human volunteers using the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Moringa tea prepared by extracting Moringa leaf powder in distilled water (1:20 mg/ml) at 97°C for 30 min was administered at different doses to male Wistar rats and human volunteers prior to glucose loading. Blood glucose was measured at intervals of 30 min for 150 min. Consumption of Moringa tea prior to glucose loading suppressed the elevation in blood glucose in all cases compared to controls that did not receive the tea initially. The degree and pattern of decrease however, were dose dependent. In rats, intermediate doses of 20 ml/kg BW were more effective in reducing blood glucose overall (18.2%) vs 13.3% and 6% at doses of 10 and 30 ml/kg BW respectively. In humans, the final decrease in blood glucose was not significantly different for high 400 ml (19%) and low 200 ml (17%) doses. Of interest here was the pattern of decrease, being significantly higher (p < 0.05) at 30 min with 200 ml (22.8%) than with 400 ml (17.9%). It is suggested that low doses exert their antihyperglycemic effect more at intestinal level by inhibiting glucose absorption, whereas high doses exert their effect more in circulation. We conclude that Moringa oleifera tea has potential as a functional food in the management of hyperglycemia.
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