Anti-nutritional Factors in the Roots of a Local Cultivar of Moringa oleifera (Lam)
The evergreen plant, Moringa oleifera (Lam) has been known to have both medicinal and nutritional properties, thus its wide use in traditional medicine in Africa and Asia. The roots, in particular, have been reported to possess antibiotic, anti-tumour and anti-oxidative activities. This study therefore seeks to determine the levels of the anti-nutritional factors and other proximate analyses in the roots of a local cultivar of Moringa oleifera which might be responsible for such activities. The concentrations of oxalates and phytates in the roots were determined using the methods of Munro and Bassir and Griffith and Thomas, respectively. The methods of Association of Analytical Chemists (AOAC) were used to estimate the amount of tannins, saponins and cyanogenic glycosides while the Technicon sequential Multi-sample amino acid analyzer (TSM) was used determine the amino acid concentration in the roots. Tannins (45 mg 100 g-1) and oxalates (17.08 mg 100 g-1) were present in the roots at higher levels while saponins (4.20 mg 100 g-1), cyanogenic glycosides (2.72 mg 100 g-1) and phytates (0.07 mg 100 g-1) occurred at much lower levels. The roots contained (Mean±Standard Error of mean) %crude lipid (6.33±1.64), %crude proteins (5.02±1.52), %carbohydrates (76.75), %ash (4.97±0.53) and %moisture (6.93±0.58). The roots lacked the water-soluble vitamins pyridoxine, riboflavin and thiamine but contained ascorbic acid (48.13 mg 100 g-1) and niacin (5.83 mg 100 g-1). This study has shown that Moringa oleifera roots are rich in anti-nutritional factors and that is why they are widely used in traditional medicine in Africa, Asia and Americas for its medicinal importance.
Received: March 31, 2013;
Accepted: April 27, 2013;
Published: November 21, 2013
Moringa oleifera is the best known Moringaceae, among the fourteen species
in the family. Although, it is native to Sub-Himalayan parts of northern India,
it is now widely distributed in the tropics and sub-tropics (Fuglie,
2001; Ozumba et al., 2009; Igwilo
et al., 2011; Nsofor et al., 2012),
with their different major Nigerian vernacular names: Okwe oyibo (Ibo), Ewe
ile (Yoruba), Zogalla (Hausa), Gawara (Fulani) etc. (Igwilo
et al., 2011; Ozumba, 2008). Moringa oleifera
is resistant to drought because of the presence of a long taproot and is
available all year round (Bhuptawat et al., 2007;
Akhtar et al., 2007). It tolerates a wide range
of soil and rainfall conditions and thrives within a temperature range of 25-35°C.
Moringa oleifera trees can form pods once in a year but in some places
fruiting may occur twice in a year (Fuglie, 2001., Igwilo
et al., 2010).
Local folklore credits Moringa with a lot of herbal potency (Fuglie,
2001, Ozumba et al., 2009, Igwilo
et al., 2010; Nsofor et al., 2012).
The roots of Moringa oleifera have been reported to cure intermittent
fever and cold symptoms. They are used as tonic for both cardiac and circulatory
purposes. It has also been reported that in India and Senegal that the roots
are used in treating rheumatism, articular pains and lower back or kidney pains.
Furthermore, literature has shown that the roots can be used as a purgative
and in the treatment of epilepsy, hysteria and nervous debility (Ozumba,
2008; Fuglie, 1999). The root juice mixed with milk
is useful against hiccups, asthma, gout, lumbago, enlarged spleen or liver,
internal and deep-seated inflammations and infections (Fuglie,
1999). Other ailments that can be treated with the Moringa oleifera roots
include arthritis, scurvy, earache and toothache. It can also be used to cleanse
sores and ulcers (Fuglie, 1999).
Despite these wide claims on herbal potency of Moringa oleifera roots,
studies on the bioactive potentials of this plant remain scanty, especially
in Nigeria. Therefore, this study is aimed at determining the levels of anti-nutritional
factors in Moringa oleifera roots grown in Awka, Anambra state, Nigeria,
in order to support the herbal potency or otherwise.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Sample collection and treatment: The mature Moringa oleifera
roots were collected from family gardens in Ifite, Awka, Anambra state, Nigeria.
The roots were cut into pieces first using knives and dried, before grinding
into fine powder. The milled sample was kept in screw-capped containers and
stored in a deep freezer and analyzed within seven days.
Determination of the anti-nutrients: The concentrations of oxalates
and phytates in Moringa oleifera roots were determined using the methods
of Munro and Bassir (1969) and Griffiths
and Thomas (1981), respectively while tannins, saponins and cyanogenic glycosides
were determined according to the methods of Association of Official Analytical
Chemists (AOAC, 1984).
Proximate analysis and mineral composition: The methods of the Association
of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC, 1999) were used
for the determination of percentage moisture, %crude protein, %crude lipids
and %ash in the roots of the plant. The mineral content was estimated using
Atomic Absorption Spectro-photometer (AAS).
Determination of amino acid profile: The amino acid content was determined
using methods described by Sparkman et al. (1958).
The dried and milled Moringa oleifera roots were defatted, hydrolysed,
evaporated in a rotary evaporator and then loaded into the Technicon sequential
Multi-Sample Amino Acid Analyzer (TSM). The chromatogram peaks were used to
calculate the amino acid values of the root sample.
Vitamin analysis: The determination of water-soluble vitamins vis-a-vis
niacin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamine and ascorbic acid in Moringa oleifera
roots were by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), as described
by AOAC (1984).
Statistical analysis: The mean values of the data obtained from proximate
analysis were calculated and the standard error of means determined (Mean±std.
error of mean).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The concentrations of the anti-nutrients in the roots are shown in Fig.
1. Tannins (45 mg 100 g-1) and oxalates (17.08 mg 100 g-1)
were higher in the roots of Moringa oleifera, while saponins, phytates
and cyanogenic glycosides have lower values (4.20 mg 100 g-1, 0.07
mg 100 g-1 and 2.72 mg 100 g-1, respectively).
Phytates and oxalates have complicated effects in the human system, particularly
indigestion of food and flatulence (Maynard, 1997; Akubugwo
et al., 2007). Tannic acid is astringent and is known to be used
in the treatment of bedsores and minor ulceration (Akubugwo
et al., 2007; Harborne, 2006). Tannins compete
with proteins, thereby, lowering their bioavailability and can thus elicit protein
deficiency syndrome (Igwilo et al., 2010; Il
Oh and Hoff, 1986).
Furthermore, (Il Oh and Hoff, 1986) suggested that
non-digestibility of proteins may cause growth retardation. Tannins, phytates
and oxalates also react tightly with divalent ions such as calcium and zinc
ions, thereby making them unavailable to the body (Akubugwo
et al., 2007). However, these anti-nutrients have been reported to
be removed through soaking, boiling or even frying (Ekpo
and Eddy, 2005; Igwilo et al., 2007).
The proximate composition of Moringa oleifera roots is shown in Fig.
2. It contains %crude lipids (6.33±1.64), %crude proteins (5.02±1.52),
%carbohydrates (76.75), %ash (4.97±0.53) and %moisture (6.93±0.58).
Although, the root contains a high amount of carbohydrates (76.75%), it is
not a good source of protein because according to Pearson
(1976), any plant food that provides less than 12% of its calorific value
from protein is not a good source of protein.
The mineral composition of the roots is shown in Fig. 3.
It contains higher amount of Sodium, Na (514.80 mg 100 g-1) while
Calcium, Ca (3.99 mg 100 g-1) and potassium (15.4 mg 100 g-1)
are lower in concentration.
The amino acid profile of the Moringa oleifera root is shown
in Fig. 4. It contains all the essential amino acids with
the highest being arginine (3.62 g 100 g-1 protein) and lysine (3.02
g 100 g-1 protein) while the lowest is histidine (0.50 g 100 g-1
protein). The root contains all the essential amino acids needed for normal
body functioning, just as in the leaves (Fuglie, 2001;
Igwilo et al., 2010).
The vitamin composition of the Moringa oleifera roots is shown in Fig.
5. The root contains higher ascorbic acid (48.13 mg 100 g-1)
and lower amount of niacin (5.83 mg 100 g-1) but thiamine, riboflavin
and pyridoxine were not detected.
|| Vitamin composition of M. oleifera root
The local cultivar of Moringa oleifera roots grown in Awka, Nigeria,
is rich in anti-nutritional factors and that explains why it is widely used
in traditional medicine in Africa, as well as in other parts of the world for
its medicinal and pharmacological importance.
1: Akhtar, M., S. Moosa Hassany, M.I. Bhanger and S. Iqbal, 2007. Sorption potential of M.oleifera pods for the removal of organic pollutants from aqueous solutions. J. Hazard mater., 141: 546-556.
PubMed | Direct Link |
2: Akubugwo, I.E., N.A. Obasi, G.C. Chinyere and A.E. Ugbogu, 2007. Nutritional and chemical values of Amaranthus hybridus L.leaves from Afikpo, Nigeria. African J. Biotechn., 6: 2833-2839.
3: AOAC, 1984. Official Methods of Analysis. 14th Edn., Washington DC., VOL. 21. pp: 347-361
4: AOAC, 1999. Methods of Analysis of Association of Official Analytical Chemists. 16th Edn., AOAC, Washington, DC, USA., pp: 600-792
5: Bhuptawat, H., G.K. Folkard and S. Chaudhari, 2007. Innovative physico-chemical treatment of sewage incorporating Moringa oleifra seed coagulant. J. Hazardous Mater., 142: 477-482.
6: Ekpo, A.S. and N.O. Eddy, 2005. Comparative studies of the level of toxicants in the seed of Indian almond (Terminalia catappa) and African walnut (Coula edulis). Chem. Class J., 2: 74-76.
7: Fuglie, L.J., 1999. The Miracle Tree-Moringa oleifera: Natural Nutrition for the Tropics. Church World Service, Dakkar, Senegal, Pages: 68
8: Fuglie, L.J., 2001. The Miracle Tree: The Multiple Attributes of Moringa. Church World Service, Dakar/CTA, Wageningen, Netherlands, Pages: 172
9: Griffiths, D.W. and T.A. Thomas, 1981. Phytate and total phosphorus content of field beans (Vicia faba). J. Sci. Food Agric., 32: 187-192.
10: Harborne, J.B., 2006. `Pharmacological Application of Plant Phytochemicals. Phytochemical Methods: A Guide to Modern Techniques of Plant Analysis. 3rd Edn., Chapman. Hall, London, pp: 211-217
11: Oh, H.I. and J.E. Hoff, 1986. Effect of condensed grape tannins on the in vitro activity of digestive proteases and activation of their zymogens. J. Food Sci., 51: 577-580.
CrossRef | Direct Link |
12: Igwilo, I.O., O.B. Oloyode and V.H.A. Enemor, 2007. Nutrient composition and the effects of processing on Canavalian ensiformis seed. Int. J. Agric. Food Syst., 1: 48-50.
13: Igwilo, I.O., F.C. Ezeonu, S.C. Udedi, C.J. Okonkwo and N.A. Ozumba, 2010. Nutrient composition, protein quality and anti-nutritional factors in the seeds of Moringa oleifera grown in Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria. Nat. Prod. Indian J., 6: 167-171.
Direct Link |
14: Igwilo, I.O., F.C. Ezeonu, S.U. Udedi and N.A. Ozumba, 2011. Comparative studies on the amino acid content of different parts of Moringa oleifera plant found in Awka, South-East, Nigeria. Biochem. Indian J., 5: 124-127.
Direct Link |
15: Maynard, L.A., 1997. Animal Nutrition. McGraw Hill Book Company Ltd. New York, pp: 47-79
16: Munro, A. and O. Bassir, 1969. Oxalate in Nigerian vegetables. West Afr. J. Biol. Applied Chem., 12: 14-18.
17: Nsofor, C.I., I.O. Igwilo, F.E. Avwemoya and C.S. Adindu, 2012. The effects of feeds formulated with Moringa oleifera leaves in the growth of the African Catfish, Clarias gariepinus. Res. Rev. Biosci., 6: 121-126.
Direct Link |
18: Ozumba, N.A., 2008. Moringa oleifera: A Review of its Medicinal and other uses. Institute for Development Studies. University of Nigeria, Enugu campus, Nigeria, pp: 1-35
19: Ozumba, N.A., E.A. Nwobi, C.I. Ndiokwelu, D.N. Aribodor, I.O. Igwilo and E.O. Uzoechina, 2009. Moringa oleifera: A review in medical pharmacopoeia. Int. J. Pharm. Sci., 1: 73-83.
20: Pearson, D., 1976. Chemical Analysis of Foods. 7th Edn., Churchchill, Livingstone, London, pp: 218-336
21: Sparkman, D.H., E.H. Stein and S. Moore, 1958. Automatic recording apparatus for use in the chromatography of amino acids. Anal. Chem., 30: 1190-1199.