Scientists say moringa oleifera prevents cataract formation

July 9, 2020

CURRENTLY, the only clinically accepted approach for the treatment of cataract is surgery. But the cost of the surgery hinders many individuals access to treatment in different parts of the world and has increased the need for less expensive, non-surgical approach to cataract treatment.

Now, researchers, in providing an alternative approach to treat cataract, have identified extract of the moringa oleifera stem as protective against cataract formation.

To validate its use as an eye drop in traditional medicine for the treatment of cataract, the researchers tested its extract on rats made to develop cataract in the laboratory. The changes in the opacity induced by hydrogen peroxide were observed under a microscope.

All lenses in normal control and moringa oleifera stem extract pre-treatment control groups were transparent, but 1 mM hydrogen peroxide remarkably induced opacity. After pre-treatment with moringa oleifera stem extract, the hydrogen peroxide -induced lens opacity levels were reduced remarkably.

The researchers said the moringa oleifera stem extract alleviates cataract formation induced by oxidative stress in cultured mouse lenses. It was in the 2019 edition of the journal, BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Cataract causes the lens of the eye to become progressively cloudy, and when left untreated, can lead to total blindness. While cataract cannot spread from one eye to the other, it can occur independently in both eyes.

It is associated with several risk factors such as ageing, diabetes, exposure to sunlight and hypertension. However, oxidative stress caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) has long been regarded as the major mechanism by which cells are damaged and cataracts are formed.

However, in some cases such as ageing, ROS production is excessive or the ability of the lens to scavenge ROS decreases and oxidative stress injuries may occur and then cataracts are formed.

Moringa oleifera, also known as horseradish tree or drumstick tree, has been used in nutritious foods and traditional medicines for the treatment of various diseases such as rheumatism, inflammation, and diabetes in many countries.

Particularly, moringa oleifera is one of the best known and most widely distributed species that is rich in natural antioxidants. This suggests that moringa oliefera may inhibit the cataract formation induced by oxidative stress.

According to the researchers, moringa oleifera stem extract reduced the levels of free radicals in a cell-free system and inhibits the production of reductive oxidative stress in lenses.

They added that “Moringa oleifera stem, as a kind of natural antioxidant, has extensive sources and no obvious adverse effects. Therefore, the inhibitory effect of moringa oleifera stem extract on cataract formation has a great clinical interest. It can be used as a potential natural medicine in the prevention or treatment of cataract, especially induced by diabetes.”

Previous reports indicate that moringa oleifera had potential inhibitory effects on selenite-induced cataract in rat pups and high sugar-induced cataract in goat lens under laboratory conditions.

Also, in another study, researchers identified costus spectabilis, a common plant, as an alternative approach to treat cataract.

The researchers had tested different doses of the rhizome of costus spectabilis extract on rats made to develop a cataract in the laboratory and found that 0.5 mg/mL of costus spectabilis extract significantly decreased the opacity of the lens. Other doses of costus spectabilis demonstrated a mild decrease in cataract formation or opacity of the lens.

The 2019 study, published in the Tropical Journal of Natural Products Research, said the reason for the significant reduction in the severity of cataract by the extract at a lower dose, when compared with the higher doses, is not yet understood.

Costus spectabilis, commonly known as yellow trumpet, is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use of its edible leaves. It is used by traditional medicine to treat internal and external wounds, coughs, inflammation, arthritis, rheumatism, fever, maternal and neonatal infections. It is also recommended for its laxative, purgative and diuretic properties.

Plant extracts, such as from scent leaf, aqueous garlic extract, onion juice, as well as a fraction of substances extracted from emilia sonchifolia and polyphenolic compounds of camelia sinensis have been proven to ameliorate cataract induced by chemical substances such as selenite.

Previously, other researchers reported also that fresh sap from the rhizome of costus spectabilis or the water extract had been used as an eye drop in traditional medicine for the treatment of cataract.

This 2018 study was an inventory of medicinal plants used in the treatment of eye ailments in Zaria metropolis and published in the Nigerian Journal of Pharmaceutical Science.


Journalists Barred As Panel Grills Magu In Aso Rock
The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, is currently being grilled by a panel set up to investigate alleged infractions against him… Read Full Story

Hushpuppi Hires Michael Jackson’s Former Lawyer To Represent Him In Court
Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi, a suspected internet fraudster and Instagram celebrity, who was arrested recently has reportedly hired a former lawyer to Michael Jackson, Mark Geragos, to represent him in court… Read Full Story

COVID-19: Trump Govt Threatens Foreign Students With Expulsion
International students who are pursuing degrees in the United States will have to leave the country or risk deportation if their universities switch to online-only courses, Immigration and Customs Enforcement… Read Full Story

PHOTOS: After Four Months, Oyo Schools Reopen Monday
After about four months, students in primary six, JSS3 and SSS3 in Oyo State resume at their various schools on Monday. As a way to curtail the spread of COVID-19 Governor Seyi Makinde had on March 21, ordered the closure of all schools in the state… Read Full Story

Military Air Strikes Destroy Dwelling Place Of Boko Haram Leaders In Borno ― DHQ
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), on Monday, said that in renewed efforts to end insurgents activities in the country, the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole has destroyed the dwellings of Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) leaders and neutralised some of their fighters in separate airstrikes conducted at Parisu and Bula Bello in… Read Full Story

Regional Banks To Operate From Additional Geo-Political Zone
THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) with regional authorization shall henceforth be required to operate from one additional geo-political zone in the… Read Full Story

CBN’s Adjustment Of Naira Rate’ll Cause Inflation — NECA
THE Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has said the Central Bank of Nigeria’s adjustment of naira exchange rate from N360/dollar to N380/dollar at the Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) will result in inflation… Read Full Story

FG To Close Third Mainland Bridge On July 24
The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola, on Monday said consultations were on for another phase of repairs to begin on the Third Mainland Bridge… Read Full Story

Youths Need Digital Skills For 21st Century Economy —Minister
The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has said that African youths need digital skills development for the 21st-century economy… Read Full Story

Wadume: Produce Indicted Soldiers For Trial, Falana Tells AGF
MILITARY’S special court, court-martial, is not constitutionally-empowered to try offences of terrorism with which indicted soldiers in the trial of kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu (alias Wadume) were charged, leading lawyer, Femi Falana, said on Sunday… Read Full Story

Reps Committee Approves N6.06trn Revenue Target For FIRS In 2020
The House of Representatives’ Committee on Finance on Monday approved the 2020 budget proposal for Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) with the projected revenue accruing to the Federation… Read Full Story

‘Industrialisation Of Lekki Free Trade Zone Costing Us Our Livelihoods’
When Mrs Helen Folarin was posted to Itamarun (a fishing community in Lagos) to head the only public health centre there as a consultant, little did anyone envisage that the journey to getting the plight of residents of this beachside community known, had begun… Read Full Story

In Defence Of Senior Advocates
On July 4, 2019, the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee, LPPC, rolled out the names of thirty-eight legal practitioners deserving to be conferred with the prestigious Rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN. How some despise the Rank! Some don’t want it ever mentioned near them at al… Read Full Story

You may be interested


Update: Police Apprehends Notorious Cultist Who Killed A Mechanic In Ogun

admin - October 21, 2020

Babatunde Idris A dreaded cultist, Babatunde Idris aka Bobo who was on the run after he killed a mechanic has…

JUST IN: Policemen shooting live rounds at unarmed youths in Yaba, Lagos (Videos)

JUST IN: Policemen shooting live rounds at unarmed youths in Yaba, Lagos (Videos)

admin - October 21, 2020

Men of the Nigerian Police Force are reportedly shooting live rounds in various parts of Lagos at the moment. The…

“I will never be part of carnage” – Bola Ahmed Tinubu denies having a stake in Lekki toll gate and having a hand in Lekki shooting (Video)

“I will never be part of carnage” – Bola Ahmed Tinubu denies having a stake in Lekki toll gate and having a hand in Lekki shooting (Video)

admin - October 21, 2020

Former Governor of Lagos state and National Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress party, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has denied having…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.