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Relative bioavailability of folate from the traditional food plant Moringa oleifera L. as evaluated in a rat model

Abstract

Moringa oleifera is an affordable and rich source of dietary folate. Quantification of folate by HPLC showed that 5-formyl-5,6,7,8-tetrahydrofolic acid (502.1 μg/100 g DW) and 5,6,7,8-tetrahydrofolic acid (223.9 μg/100 g DW) as the most dominant forms of folate in M. oleifera leaves. The bioavailability of folate and the effects of folate depletion and repletion on biochemical and molecular markers of folate status were investigated in Wistar rats. Folate deficiency was induced by keeping the animals on a folate deficient diet with 1 % succinyl sulfathiazole (w/w). After the depletion period, animals were repleted with different levels of folic acid and M. oleifera leaves as a source of folate. Feeding the animals on a folate deficient diet for 7 weeks caused a significant (3.4-fold) decrease in serum folate content, compared to non-depleted control animals. Relative bioavailability of folate from dehydrated leaves of M. oleifera was 81.9 %. During folate depletion and repletion, no significant changes in liver glycine N-methyl transferase and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate-homocysteine methyltransferase expression were recorded. In RDA calculations, only 50 % of natural folate is assumed to be bioavailable. Therefore, the bioavailability of folate from Moringa is much higher, suggesting that M. oleifera based food can be used as a significant source of folate.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are thankful to Council of Scientific and Industrial Research., New Delhi (India), for financial assistance.

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The authors have declared that there is no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to P. Giridhar.

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Supplementary material Fig. 6

Overview of folate and B12 dependent homocysteine metabolism reactions involved in cellular one-carbon metabolism, with two major functions of DNA synthesis and DNA methylation (Zetterberg 2004). (DOCX 92 kb)

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Saini, R.K., Manoj, P., Shetty, N.P. et al. Relative bioavailability of folate from the traditional food plant Moringa oleifera L. as evaluated in a rat model. J Food Sci Technol 53, 511–520 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-015-1828-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-015-1828-x

Keywords

  • Moringa oleifera
  • Folate bioavailability
  • Folate repletion
  • Gene expression
  • Liver GNMT