Effects of Moringa (Moringa oleifera) on iron status of Senegalese lactating women: A clinical study
by Forest Raga February 25, 2021
The present study was carried out to investigate the efficacy and safety of the Effects of Moringa (Moringa oleifera) on iron status of Senegalese lactating women
A randomized study was conducted to test the efficacy of Moringa powder on iron status and weight gain in women. In an open-labeled randomized trial, 82 moderately anemic, lactating women, aged 26.7ï¿½ 6.5 years, received a weekly dose of either 100g of Moringa powder(Moringa group) or 120 mg iron sulfate with 0.5 mg folic acid (Control group). Data from 64 women (33 from the Moringa group and 31 from the Control group) were analyzed. Baseline parameters, socio-economic, anthropometry, hematology, plasma ferritin, and acute-phase proteins were comparable in both groups. Low plasma ferritin (< 12 ï¿½g/l) indicating iron deficiency was found in 13 and 14 women from the Moringa and Control groups, respectively.
After 3 months of treatment, mean hemoglobin concentrations significantly increased in both groups (p<0.001) but iron stores were unchanged in the Moringa group while they significantly increased in the Control group indicating that consumption of Moringa leaves failed to restore iron stores in anemic subjects. A slight improvement was observed in the prevalence of anemia in both groups but anemia still persisted due to other reasons than iron deficiency anemia. None of the groups gained weight during the 3 months. However, the average weight loss was less important in the Moringa group (-0.8 ï¿½ 2.1 kg) compared to the control group (-1.2ï¿½ 2.3 kg) but the difference was not significant (p=0.45). The amount of digestible protein in the powder could suggest that the consumption of Moringa was beneficial to rural women by preventing weight loss during the rainy season. Micronutrient status improvement of vulnerable people in developing countries like Senegal should combine diet-based strategies through the production and consumption of animal-derived food, vegetable, fruits, and food fortification program.
However, Moringa Oleifera is one example of local food that can be used in nutritional intervention programs, but its use needs additional rigorous clinical trials to confirm its nutritional benefits.
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