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By Gavin Van De Walle MS, RD
Moringa is an Indian herb derived from the Moringa oleifera tree.
It has been used in Ayurveda medicine — an ancient Indian medical system — to treat skin diseases, diabetes and infections for thousands of years.
Additionally, it's thought to offer weight loss benefits.
This article reveals whether moringa powder can help you lose weight and provides information on other potential benefits, various forms and safety.
Rich in Powerful Compounds
Native to India, Asia, and Africa, the leaves of the moringa tree are highly nutritious.
They're rich in vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial plant compounds.
Per 3.5 ounces (100 grams), moringa leaves contain approximately (1):
- Protein: 27 grams
- Fat: 6 grams
- Fiber: 34 grams
- Sugar: 3 grams
- Sodium: 1,361 mg
- Calcium: 173% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Iron: 133% of the DV
- Zinc: 27% of the DV
- Magnesium: 126% of the DV
- Copper: 111% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 176% of the DV
Moringa leaves are high in vitamins, minerals, and powerful plant compounds like polyphenols.
Supposed Weight Loss Benefits
Moringa powder has been suggested to promote weight loss.
Animal and test-tube studies show that moringa can reduce fat formation and enhance fat breakdown (9).
Still, it's unknown whether these effects translate to humans.
To date, no human studies have investigated the effects of moringa alone on weight loss.
However, studies have looked at the effects of supplements containing moringa combined with other ingredients.
In one 8-week study in 41 obese people on an identical diet and exercise regime, those taking 900 mg of a supplement containing moringa, turmeric, and curry lost 10.6 pounds (4.8 kg) — compared to only 4 pounds (1.8 kg) in the placebo group (10).
In a similar but larger study, researchers randomized 130 people who were overweight to receive the same supplement as the above study or a placebo.
Those given the supplement lost 11.9 pounds (5.4 kg) over 16 weeks, compared to only 2 pounds (0.9 kg) in the placebo group. They also significantly decreased their LDL (bad) cholesterol and increased their HDL (good) cholesterol (11).
Still, it's unclear whether these benefits are attributed to moringa, one of the other two herbs, or a combination.
More comprehensive studies in this area are needed.
Studies show impressive weight loss benefits in people taking a multi-ingredient supplement containing moringa. However, the benefits cannot be attributed to moringa itself.
Other Potential Health Benefits
Although moringa powder alone hasn't been shown to promote weight loss, animal and test-tube studies suggest that it may offer other health benefits.
- regulate blood sugar
- lower blood pressure
- lower cholesterol
- reduce inflammation
- protect against heart disease
These benefits are linked to the various powerful compounds found in moringa powder, namely polyphenols and other antioxidants (18).
While research has yet to consistently validate these benefits in humans, moringa remains a popular supplement.
Moringa powder has shown promise in animal and test-tube studies for a variety of health benefits, but research in humans is lacking.
You can buy moringa in several forms, including powder, capsules, and tea.
Due to its versatility, moringa leaf powder is a popular option.
It's said to have a bitter and slightly sweet taste. You can easily add the powder to shakes, smoothies, and yogurt to boost your nutritional intake.
Recommended serving sizes of moringa powder range from 2–6 grams.
The capsule form of moringa leaves contains the crushed leaf powder or its extract.
It's best to choose supplements that contain the extract of the leaf because the extraction process improves the bioavailability or absorption of the leaf's beneficial components.
You can differentiate between the two by reading the supplement facts label, which will state whether the product contains the powdered leaf or extract form.
Moringa can also be consumed as a tea.
If desired, spices and herbs — such as cinnamon and lemon basil — can help offset the slightly earthy taste of pure moringa leaf tea.
It's naturally caffeine-free, so you can consume it as a relaxing beverage before bed.
It's also a good option if you're sensitive to the effects of caffeine.
Moringa powder can be added to many drinks, taken as a capsule, or consumed as a tea.
Safety and Side Effects
Moringa powder is generally well tolerated with a low risk of side effects (19).
Regardless, it's still a good idea to speak with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before trying moringa powder — especially if you're taking medications for blood pressure or blood sugar control.
Studies suggest that moringa powder has a strong safety profile, but you should consult with your healthcare practitioner before trying moringa powder or other new supplements.
The Bottom Line
Moringa oleifera is a tree that grows in several countries.
Leaves of the tree contain healthy compounds, including vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols.
Though moringa powder is often marketed for weight loss, more research is needed before this and other benefits can be confirmed.
In any case, moringa powder is nutritious and likely safe for most people when consumed in recommended doses.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
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Global Banks, Led by JPMorgan Chase, Invested $1.9 Trillion in Fossil Fuels Since Paris Climate Pact
By Sharon Kelly
A report published Wednesday names the banks that have played the biggest recent role in funding fossil fuel projects, finding that since 2016, immediately following the Paris agreement's adoption, 33 global banks have poured $1.9 trillion into financing climate-changing projects worldwide.
By Patti Lynn
2018 was a groundbreaking year in the public conversation about climate change. Last February, The New York Times reported that a record percentage of Americans now believe that climate change is caused by humans, and there was a 20 percentage point rise in "the number of Americans who say they worry 'a great deal' about climate change."
England faces an "existential threat" if it does not change how it manages its water, the head of the country's Environment Agency warned Tuesday.
By Jessica Corbett
A new analysis revealed Tuesday that over the past two decades heat records across the U.S. have been broken twice as often as cold ones—underscoring experts' warnings about the increasingly dangerous consequences of failing to dramatically curb planet-warming emissions.
By Madison Dapcevich
Ask any resident of San Francisco about the waterfront parrots, and they will surely tell you a story of red-faced conures squawking or dive-bombing between building peaks. Ask a team of researchers from the University of Georgia, however, and they will tell you of a mysterious string of neurological poisonings impacting the naturalized flock for decades.
The initial cause of the fire was not yet known, but it has been driven by the strong wind and jumped the North Santiam River, The Salem Statesman Journal reported. As of Tuesday night, it threatened around 35 homes and 30 buildings, and was 20 percent contained.
The unanimous verdict was announced Tuesday in San Francisco in the first federal case to be brought against Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, alleging that repeated use of the company's glyphosate-containing weedkiller caused the plaintiff's cancer. Seventy-year-old Edwin Hardeman of Santa Rosa, California said he used Roundup for almost 30 years on his properties before developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"Today's verdict reinforces what another jury found last year, and what scientists with the state of California and the World Health Organization have concluded: Glyphosate causes cancer in people," Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said in a statement. "As similar lawsuits mount, the evidence will grow that Roundup is not safe, and that the company has tried to cover it up."
Judge Vince Chhabria has split Hardeman's trial into two phases. The first, decided Tuesday, focused exclusively on whether or not Roundup use caused the plaintiff's cancer. The second, to begin Wednesday, will assess if Bayer is liable for damages.
"We are disappointed with the jury's initial decision, but we continue to believe firmly that the science confirms glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer," Bayer spokesman Dan Childs said in a statement reported by The Guardian. "We are confident the evidence in phase two will show that Monsanto's conduct has been appropriate and the company should not be liable for Mr. Hardeman's cancer."
Some legal experts said that Chhabria's decision to split the trial was beneficial to Bayer, Reuters reported. The company had complained that the jury in Johnson's case had been distracted by the lawyers' claims that Monsanto had sought to mislead scientists and the public about Roundup's safety.
However, a remark made by Chhabria during the trial and reported by The Guardian was blatantly critical of the company.
"Although the evidence that Roundup causes cancer is quite equivocal, there is strong evidence from which a jury could conclude that Monsanto does not particularly care whether its product is in fact giving people cancer, focusing instead on manipulating public opinion and undermining anyone who raises genuine and legitimate concerns about the issue," he said.
Many regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, have ruled that glyphosate is safe for humans, but the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer found it was "probably carcinogenic to humans" in 2015. A university study earlier this year found that glyphosate use increased cancer risk by as much as 41 percent.
Hardeman's lawyers Jennifer Moore and Aimee Wagstaff said they would now reveal Monsanto's efforts to mislead the public about the safety of its product.
"Now we can focus on the evidence that Monsanto has not taken a responsible, objective approach to the safety of Roundup," they wrote in a statement reported by The Guardian.
Hardeman's case is considered a "bellwether" trial for the more than 760 glyphosate cases Chhabria is hearing. In total, there are around 11,200 such lawsuits pending in the U.S., according to Reuters.
University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias told Reuters that Tuesday's decision showed that the verdict in Johnson's case was not "an aberration," and could possibly predict how future juries in the thousands of pending cases would respond.