The leaf powder of Moringa oleifera lam. (Moringa) could help human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients stay healthy during antiretroviral therapy, according to a study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
A team of researchers from Belgium and the Democratic Republic of the Congo looked at the effect of M. oleifera leaf powder supplementation on the nutritional and immune status of HIV patients who received antiretroviral therapy, in comparison to nutritional counseling.
HIV patients who received antiretroviral therapy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are faced with nutritional challenges. Most of them suffer from undernutrition, which often results in therapeutic failure. Because of this, some HIV care facilities suggest supplementation with M. oleifera leaf powder to prevent nutritional deficiencies.
The research team recruited 60 HIV patients who were undergoing antiretroviral therapy. They gave half of the patients the M. oleifera leaf powder supplement every day for six months, while the other half received nutritional counseling over the same period.
They measured all of the participants' body mass index (BMI) every month, while their biological parameters were measured at the beginning and end of the study.
Results revealed that the patients who received the M. oleifera treatment showed a greater increase in their BMI and albumin levels compared to those who only received nutritional counseling.
In conclusion, the findings of the study indicated that M. oleifera leaf powder supplementation is a readily available and effective solution for boosting the nutritional status of HIV patients undergoing antiretroviral therapy.
Tshingani K, Donnen P, Mukumbi H, Duez P, Dramaix-Wilment M. IMPACT OF MORINGA OLEIFERA LAM. LEAF POWDER SUPPLEMENTATION VERSUS NUTRITIONAL COUNSELING ON THE BODY MASS INDEX AND IMMUNE RESPONSE OF HIV PATIENTS ON ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY: A SINGLE-BLIND RANDOMIZED CONTROL TRIAL. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017; 17 (420). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-017-1920-z.