Moringa seeds have been used traditionally in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and contain potent bioactive isothiocyanates. This study evaluated the efficacy of an isothiocyanate-rich moringa seed extract in delaying the onset of T2DM in UC Davis T2DM rats, a well validated model which closely mimics T2DM in humans. Rats were separated into three groups; control, moringa seed extract at 0.4%, and a weight matched group. Rats were fed respective diets for 8 months, during which energy intake, body weight, the onset of diabetes circulating hormones, metabolites and markers of inflammation and liver function, and were monitored. The MS group had a significantly slower rate of diabetes onset p = 0.027), lower plasma glucose (p = 0.043), and lower HbA1c (p = 0.008) compared with CON animals. There were no significant differences in food intake and body weight between all groups. This study demonstrated MS can delay the onset of diabetes in the UC Davis T2DM rat model to a greater extent than moderate caloric restriction (by comparison to the WM group). The results support its documented traditional uses and a bioactive role of moringa isothiocyanates and suggest the potential efficacy for moringa supplementation for diabetes management in populations at risk for T2DM.
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