Yanga N. Mhlomi, Gloria A. Otunola* and Anthony J. Afolayan Pages 608 - 620 ( 13 )
Background: Moringa oleifera is currently and rapidly gaining superfood status.
Objective: This study evaluated the effect of Moringa oleifera leaves (MOLM) on haematological, biochemical and histopathology indices of rats fed with Vitamins and Minerals Deficient (VMD) diets.
Methods: Twenty-five male Wistar rats (220-290g) were randomly assigned into 5 groups of 5 rats each. The control (normal rat chow), remaining four diets were VMD plus MOLM at 0, 3, 5 and 10%. Haematological, biochemical and histopathological statuses were evaluated after 28 days.
Results: Non-significant increase in RBC was observed in rats fed with the MOLM diets compared to control. Rats on VMD diet had the lowest haemoglobin levels, whereas haemoglobin increased with MOLM. No significant differences were observed in haematocrit, MCH, MCHC, platelets, RDW and MPV in all the treatments and control group. However, VMD rats showed a decrease in haemoglobin, and an increase in WBC and platelets. Electrolytes and glucose for all the treatments and control were not significantly different, but, control and VMD10 diets rats showed significantly higher values for creatinine compared to MOLM diets; total protein and albumin increased with MOLM and were higher than in VMD and control rats. Serum activities of hepatic, cardiac and adrenal marker enzymes were observed to be significantly lower in MOLM rats compared to VMD and control. Mild congestion in VMD and VMD3 rats’ liver and diffused congestion in the kidney of VMD diet rats were observed.
Conclusion: The significantly high increase in platelet count in the VMD treated rats, indicative of anemia and other physiological imbalances, highlights the effect of micronutrient (mineral and vitamins) deficiencies in the diet. There is also the possibility that the anti-nutrients factors present in Moringa oleifera prevented uptake and bioavailability of nutrients, since the MOLM did not undergo any processing that could have removed or reduced these antinutrients. Further studies are still needed on Moringa oleifera leaves to validate the bioavailability of nutrients from the plant.
Biochemistry, haematology, histopathology, micronutrients, Moringa oleifera leaf meal, vitamin and mineral deficient.
Medicinal Plants and Economic Development (MPED) Research Centre, Department of Botany, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, Medicinal Plants and Economic Development (MPED) Research Centre, Department of Botany, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, Medicinal Plants and Economic Development (MPED) Research Centre, Department of Botany, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700