Protective role of Moringa oleifera leaf-based diet on protein- energy malnutrition induced skeletal muscle degeneration

Lambe Muinat Olayinka, Bewaji Clement O.


Background: Sequel to the diverse diseases resulting in muscle mass degeneration and its key role in the prognosis of the diseases. For instance, currently, only resistance exercise can be used to promote recovery of mass/strength following disuse atrophy. But in contrast, many patients are unable or unwilling to exercise at a sufficient intensity to promote muscle growth. It would therefore be of great advantage to develop natural compounds that counteract the negative effects of skeletal muscle degenerative diseases especially in the form of therapeutic feed). The present study was aimed at elucidating the mechanism by which M. oleifera ameliorates skeletal muscle degeneration caused by malnutrition.

Methods: The experimental animals were malnourished with low protein iso-caloric diets for four weeks after which they were treated with 25% M. oleifera leaf – based diet, vitamin E supplemented feed and soy bean based- diet for another four weeks.  

Results: There was a significant reduction in the activity of calcium ATPase in the skeletal muscle of animals induced with skeletal muscle degeneration. However, this activity was significantly increased following treatments with the most significant increase observed in the skeletal muscle of animals treated with M. Oleifera leaf based diet followed by those fed with vitamin E supplemented diet.

Conclusions: In summary, the study revealed that the mechanism by which M. oleifera leaf corrects muscle degeneration caused by PEM might be by increasing calcium ATPase activity and/ or its synthesis and by preventing oxidative stress due to its antioxidant properties. 


Calcium ATPase, Mechanism, Iso-caloric diet, M. oleifera, Muscle atrophy

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