Moringa oleifera is an interesting plant for its use in bioactive compounds. In this manuscript, we review studies concerning the cultivation and production of moringa along with genetic diversity among different accessions and populations. Different methods of propagation, establishment and cultivation are discussed. Moringa oleifera shows diversity in many characters and extensive morphological variability, which may provide a resource for its improvement. Great genetic variability is present in the natural and cultivated accessions, but no collection of cultivated and wild accessions currently exists. A germplasm bank encompassing the genetic variability present in Moringa is needed to perform breeding programmes and develop elite varieties adapted to local conditions. Alimentary and medicinal uses of moringa are reviewed, alongside the production of biodiesel. Finally, being that the leaves are the most used part of the plant, their contents in terms of bioactive compounds and their pharmacological properties are discussed. Many studies conducted on cell lines and animals seem concordant in their support for these properties. However, there are still too few studies on humans to recommend Moringa leaves as medication in the prevention or treatment of diseases. Therefore, further studies on humans are recommended.
Moringa oleifera seeds are a promising resource for food and non-food applications, due to their content of monounsaturated fatty acids with a high monounsaturated/saturated fatty acids (MUFA/SFA) ratio, sterols and tocopherols, as well as proteins rich in sulfated amino acids. The rapid growth of Moringa trees in subtropical and tropical areas, even under conditions of prolonged drought, makes this plant a reliable resource to enhance the nutritional status of local populations and, if rationalized cultivation practices are exploited, their economy, given that a biodiesel fuel could be produced from a source not in competition with human food crops. Despite the relatively diffuse use of Moringa seeds and their oil in traditional medicine, no pharmacological activity study has been conducted on humans. Some encouraging evidence, however, justifies new efforts to obtain clear and definitive information on the benefits to human health arising from seed consumption. A critical review of literature data concerning the composition of Moringa oil has set in motion a plan for future investigations. Such investigations, using the seeds and oil, will focus on cultivation conditions to improve plant production, and will study the health effects on human consumers of Moringa seeds and their oil.
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an inherited neuromuscular disorder leading to paralysis and subsequent death in young children. Initially considered a motor neuron disease, extra‐neuronal involvement is increasingly recognized. The primary goal of this study was to investigate alterations in lipid metabolism in SMA patients and mouse models of the disease.
We analyzed clinical data collected from a large cohort of pediatric SMA type I–III patients as well as SMA type I liver necropsy data. In parallel, we performed histology, lipid analysis, and transcript profiling in mouse models of SMA.
We identify an increased susceptibility to developing dyslipidemia in a cohort of 72 SMA patients and liver steatosis in pathological samples. Similarly, fatty acid metabolic abnormalities were present in all SMA mouse models studied. Specifically, Smn2B/‐ mice displayed elevated hepatic triglycerides and dyslipidemia, resembling non‐alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Interestingly, this phenotype appeared prior to denervation.
This work highlights metabolic abnormalities as an important feature of SMA, suggesting implementation of nutritional and screening guidelines in patients, as such defects are likely to increase metabolic distress and cardiovascular risk. This study emphasizes the need for a systemic therapeutic approach to ensure maximal benefits for all SMA patients throughout their life.
Moringa oleifera is a plant that grows in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Its leaves are rich of nutrients and bioactive compounds. However, several differences are reported in the literature. In this article we performed a nutritional characterization and a phenolic profiling of M. oleifera leaves grown in Chad, Sahrawi refugee camps, and Haiti. In addition, we investigated the presence of salicylic and ferulic acids, two phenolic acids with pharmacological activity, whose presence in M. oleifera leaves has been scarcely investigated so far. Several differences were observed among the samples. Nevertheless, the leaves were rich in protein, minerals, and β-carotene. Quercetin and kaempferol glycosides were the main phenolic compounds identified in the methanolic extracts. Finally, salicylic and ferulic acids were found in a concentration range of 0.14–0.33 and 6.61–9.69 mg/100 g, respectively. In conclusion, we observed some differences in terms of nutrients and phenolic compounds in M. oleifera leaves grown in different countries. Nevertheless, these leaves are a good and economical source of nutrients for tropical and sub-tropical countries. Furthermore, M. oleifera leaves are a source of flavonoids and phenolic acids, among which salicylic and ferulic acids, and therefore they could be used as nutraceutical and functional ingredients.
In our experience, ASCP was a safe technique for thoracic aorta surgery allowing complex aortic repairs to be performed with good results in terms of hospital mortality and neurologic outcomes. The fact that there was no difference between the two groups suggests that moderate systemic hypothermia (26 degrees C) appears to be a safe and sufficient tool for brain protection. Moreover, the well known hypothermia-related side effects may be avoided.
SummaryTreating complex aortic arch disease with proximal and distal aortic segment involvement is challenging. In recent years, different surgical and endovascular techniques have been applied in a single or multiple-stage approach with the aim to cure and simplify these conditions. The first procedure available for this purpose was the conventional elephant trunk technique. Its recent evolution is the frozen elephant trunk, which treats the descending thoracic aorta using the antegrade release of a self-expandable stent graft. In the following review article, we analyse the advantages and drawbacks of both techniques from clinical and practical perspectives.
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