Moringa oleifera is a tree native to a number of Asian, African, and Central American countries and has been used in traditional medicine for an assortment of medicinal uses for centuries. Due to bioactive compounds within Moringa leaves, it is believed that Moringa leaf extract may possess cancer-selective antiproliferative properties. Previous research has been conducted in regards to this topic, but poor experimental design due to lack of necessary controls limits the legitimacy of anticancer claims. While previous research has shown that Moringa leaf extract has the potential to kill cancer cells, the research fails to demonstrate the effects of Moringa leaf extract on healthy cells. In order for anticancer claims to be sufficient and yield the possibility of a future cancer treatment, Moringa leaf extract must not harm non-cancerous cells. This is essential in order to be considered a cancer-selective killing agent. The current study was designed using tissue type pairs including both cancerous and non-cancerous cell lines. These cell lines were treated with increasing concentrations of Moringa leaf extracts. After 48 hours, cell proliferation was measured with CellTiter 96 Aqueous Non-Radioactive Cell Proliferation Assay, and statistical analyses were completed. Results showed that the Moringa leaf extract had no statistically significant effect on either of the breast cell lines, cancerous or non-cancerous. However, the results suggest there is a statistically significant difference in cell proliferation between the lung cell lines. Low concentrations increased cell proliferation in the healthy lung cells while having no significant effect on the cancerous lung cells. The effects reversed at higher concentrations. This could be due to the difference in cell responses between cancerous lung cells and healthy lung cells. Microscopy findings provided qualitative results that helped determine the method of cell death occurring by cells treated with Moringa leaf extract. Ideally, an effective cancer treatment would cause cancerous cells to die by apoptosis, rather than necrosis. However, the findings suggest necrosis is the primary mode of death occurring in the cancerous lung cells, while the cancerous breast cells showed no signs of cell death. This research contradicts previous findings that Moringa leaf extract is a cancer killing agent; therefore, more research should be completed to understand these new findings.
Welch, Reagen H. and Tietje, Ashlee H.
"Investigation of Moringa oleifera leaf extract and its cancer-selective antiproliferative properties,"
Journal of the South Carolina Academy of Science: Vol. 15:
2, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/jscas/vol15/iss2/4